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.-•''HARVARD . 
\ JUL ?..'li^" 

/^ f^^H- ^^'^ 





&c. &c. &c. 









The subjects that occupy the first Canto of 
this Poem, were selected for the purposes of 
elucidating Ancient British Mythologies, and 
introducing to public notice, the superstitions 
that have prevailed in the Principality of Wales. 
Such topics may not, by some, be deemed worthy 
of consideration ; but the testimonies of most 
learned writers concur in asserting that the cre- 
dulities, ceremonies, and rites of nations, present 
strong evidences of their comparative progression 
in the arts and sciences of social order, and of 
literature. Wales, so fertile in her records, and 
oral remains of ancient usages, has, . hitherto, 
been almost entirely neglected by her Saxon 
neighbours ; — ^nor have her own sons rallied, in 
the best ardour of nationality, under the moul- 
dering banner of her ancient lore. 

However defective this little publication, now 
presented, with unfeigned diffidence, to notice, 
may be justly deemed, a cherished hope 
brightens to my view that it will stimulate 
abler pens to investigate the Legends and 
Ancient History of the land of my Fathers. 

The scene of the second Canto, opens on the 
shore, a short distance westward of St. Donats' 


Castle; an ancient seat of great distinction, 
situated contiguous to the Bristol Channel ; 
and just opposite to Portlock Bay, in Somer- 
setshire : it afterwards lies at the Castle ; and 
ultimately, in the third Canto, immediately below 
it, near the verge of the high cliffs that, there, 
bound the Severn. 

The circumstances of Sir Harry Stradling's 
seizure at sea, by Colyn Dolphyn, his detention 
there until ransomed; and the shipwreck and 
execution of that Pirate;- — ^for no actual trial 
appears to have taken place— must have occurred 
a few years previous to 1477 ; — at which time, 
that Knight went on a pilgrimage, to the Holy 
Sepulchre; whence he never more returned 

From the Memoirs prefixed to the Notes, 
which are partially sustained by Sir Edward 
Stradling's account of his Family, written in 
1572,— by the Records in St. Donats' Church,— 
and by other coincident proofs; — ^it appears 
that Coljm and all his surviving crew were sum- 
marily hanged, immediately after their capture. 

The Christmas Festival, at which the old 
Huntsman relates his tale, is supposed to have 
taken place soon after the Sir Edward just 
mentioned came to the title and estates : — about 



Canto L— The Vase. — The Huntsman 9 

II.— The Shipwreck.-^The Trial 29 

III.— The Execution 56 

Explanatory Remarks 81 

Memoirs of the Stradlings 84 

Notes to CAnto 1 105 

II 148 

in 153 

Comparative View of Genealogies 158 

The Reader is requested to correct the fbllowhig 

and any other that may have escaped the Author^s observation. 

Page 70, line S, from bottom, for palid, read pallid. 
7], — d, from bottom, for when, rtad where. 


Page 97, last line, /or All Saints*, read All Souls*. 
106, line 17» for attrocities, read atrocities. 
123, — 7, from bottom, for Britains, read Britons. 
163, — 18, for decent, read descent. 






QCiie 2?a0e^— -QCiie Jf^unt^man^ 


The harp had poured its joyous chime 
To many a tale of olden time ; 
The Minstrel blind^ whose skilful hand 
Could music's sweetest tones command^ 
The chords to lofty strains had swept. 
Of Bards who long in death had slept ; 
The charms of ode and song had eeas'd. 
And all had shared the generous feast 
In Stradling's hall of ancient date ;— 
Hall of the good, — the only great, — 
The hall that now is desolate ;— • 


Then, while the moments winj^'d away 
In radiant smiles and converse gay^ 
Sir Edward beckon'd ; — at his nod 
The page, emburthen'd, cautious trod 
The festive hall, — and soon, well stored^ 
The Vase Paternal deck'd the board. 
An ancient bowl with figures fraught. 
By curious skill profusely wrought; 
Emboss'd, the ample convex bore 
Emblems of Cambria's history hoar ; 
Fair portraits of her Chieftains bold ; 
Sjrmbols of deeds in triads told. 

The storied surface first displayed 
Two forms, in partial vests array'd. 
Beneath an oak :— unknown their date^ 
Their tale unknown, whatever their fate* 
Wearied with vain attempts to trace 
Their course among the hiunan race. 
Conjecture, foil'd, its powers res^'d ; 
Their record Time had left bdiind. 

The next compartment brought anew 
Primeval worship to the view. 

Canto 1.] THE VASE.— THE HUNTSMAN^ 11 

At high solstitial tide : 
A circle rais'd for holy rite. 
In face of day, and eye of light ; 
Where Ancient Britain's Druids grey. 
From sacred cromlech, pour'd the lay 

To Peace and Heaven allied. 

Next on the spacious vase appear *d 
The Chief to Britain most endear'd ; 
Who tutor'd first her sons to wield 
The arms of Agriculture's field. 
Blest arms ! that win, in ways of peace, 


The harvest's manifold increase. 
Yes, there was seen, in fair relief, 
Clas Merddin's patriarchal chief; 
Even Hu the mighty's patriot form. 
Who nobly brav'd the surge and storm. 
In course advent'rous o'er the mitin. 
From Defirobani's orient plain ; 
While on his generous arm he bore 
The fertile plough to Cambria's shore. 

Onwsutl, in curious robe, was seen 
Stem Rhitta Gawr's majestic mien ; 


While Potentates^ of besutls despoil'd. 
In useful arts obedient toil'd 
At his command :•— how quell'd their pride. 
That, ersty had earth and Heaven defied. 

In scene succeeding, pictured well^ 
The Champions of Delusion strong 

Arose in view;— by phantom spell 
They led the wond'ring crowd along. 

First of Delusion's trine, portray'd, 
Appear'd, in rugged robe array'd. 
Mysterious Math,— -whose daring pore 
Discem'd the fount of awful lore : 
Who taught^ in years of lengthened age. 
While on the verge of mortal stage. 
To Owdion, theme of ancient lay. 
Lord of the star-gemm'd milky-way. 
The art terrific, which, to find. 
Transmutes the powers of human mind. 

Confederate stood, distinguish'd well 
For art occult, and features fell, 
Meny w, the marvel of his age. 
Who own'd no earthly parentage : 


Strange offspring of the shrieking sound 
That thrice transpiere'd the Deep profound ; 
Meny w, who taught his secret dread 
To Uthyr of the dragon head. 

Last of the mystic trine appear'd 

Rnddlwmthe red, of grey-grim beard. 

Whose form gigantic, fearful glare. 

From paths he trod at once might scare 

Earth's minor sons.-^In cavern dark, 

His frame distorted, visage stark. 

Thro' years of long proba,tion pent. 

An ordeal dread he underwent. 

Taught by the Dwarf, Perdition's heir. 

Who liv'd but in mephitic air, 

By science inarticulate, ^ 

He read the future rolls of fate. 

The mind, opprest by gloomy thought, 
The sixth, the last compartment sought ; 
Where famed Cyfeiliog's Chief appear'd ; 
His liberal hand the Hirlas rear'd, 
While round the Prince, in order placed. 
Bard, Judge, and Priest the banquet graced ; 


And there the Ccunbrian minstrel grey 
Struck the wild horp^ and sang bis lay. 

Each side, beneath the storied zone^ 
A proud escutcheon fairly shone, 
Finely portray'd by later hand^ 
Whereon the pleas'd beholder scanned 
Emblazon'd arms of high degree, 
That told of ancient chivalry. 
Arms by the mighty Stradlings won. 
Thro' high emprize, from sire to son ; 
Arms sternly gain'd, in battle toil, 
Beneath the cross, on paynim soil.'— 
The motto, on their shield displayed/— 
^ Son an* rnOttBfl,**— their hope convey'd. 

A lion's form the bend supplied 
To raise the bowl on dexter side ; 
And, flexured o'er its costly brink. 
The sylvan monarch fain would drink ; 
But paus'd awhile, as if to view. 
At concave base, the radiant hue 
Of Sapphire bright, that charm'd the eye 
With gleams of pure cerulean dye. 

Qamto I.] THE V'A8E.«^TqpB HUNTSMAN. 15 

Confronting, rose a Drafon bold, 
And, curving, formed the other bold. 
Startling his glare, and barb*d his tongue. 
Which forth from mouth of fangs he flung. 

Meet symbols these of Bacchus' power 
In reason and in riot's hour. 
Of generous might, the forest's lord. 
In emblem, tells of Friendship's board. 
Where Prince, and Sage, and tuneful Bard, 
To sterling worth pay first regard. 
The monster dire presents a sign 
Of maddening broil, at midnight wine. 
When, Reason fled, in fierce array, 
Envenom'd Rage assumes the sway. 
Gilded within, the beamy shine 
Blazed brightly thro' the purple wine : 
So glows the soul that worth displays. 
And such celestial virtue's rays. 

An eagle's talon'd limb sustain'd 
The fount nectareous, never stain'd 
By hands imiHure,--that never gave 
Its flood polluted lips to lave. 


I'lie ample (laws, id tenflive brace. 

Had deepl> pierc'd a silver base ; 

And thus in splendid hall, to grace, 

With form superb, its festive place. 

Stood the great vase, of rich design. 

The gift of Cynfyn 8 lofty line. 

Now wine^ that blush'd like rosy mom, 

And Cambria's mead, from Cambria's horn, 

Inspir'd the mirth without alloy 

I'll at cheer'd the sumptuous baU of joy. 

Then look'd the Knight, with anxious eye. 
His ancient Huntsman to descry ; — 
For never mirthful festival. 
Thro' years long told, had graced that hall. 
But Howel, there, still found a seat ; — 
Boon soul ! of tale and song replete. 

A man of legends wild was he. 

And nurtur'd in credulity ; 

Whose mind the tales of magic spell. 

And cross-road ghosts, had treasur'd welK 

Of fairies* dance, when found array'd, 

By midnight moon, in gloomy glade, 


And of their rings and music wild, 
Well stored his memory, from a child : 
Of phantoms grim, with eyes of wrath, 
Haunting belated traveller's path^ 
Ere yet the morning chanter crew, 
His earliest warning, much he knew. 

Oft would he say that once he view'd. 
Although by no weak fear subdued, 
Gliding along from his own room, 
The light that heralds to the tomb ; 
While yet the doom'd, in health's career 
But little thought of death so near : 
And, brief the period ere his wife, 
(So frail the thread of human life,) 
Was laid, — ^no human aid could save. 
From fever's fury, in the grave. 

Such tales, congenial to his soul. 

He cherish'd, — and believ'd the whole ; — 

For, tinged in superstition's hue. 

From dreams of fancy facts he drew : 

Nor would he deign a moment's heed 

To him who doubted aught his creed. 



Bat age's withering, freeadng hand 
What mortal vigour can withstand ? 
It fades the bloom of manly grace ; 
It ploughs the failing form and face ; 
Unstrings the nerve ; — ^nor does it spare 
The human roof, but lays it bare. 

Howel that icy hand had felt ; 
Its morbid grasp had o'er him dealt 
Prevailing torpor's influence dire ; 
For tho' of former ardour's fire 
Some latent embers still remain'd^ 
That youth and manhood erst sustain'd. 
Yet weak the flickering^ ere it past ; 
Like torch consum'd, that blaz'd its last. 

Extreme his years ; — stem time had sped 
Full twenty lustrums o'er his head ; 
That head which seem'd, while vigour sway'd. 
In locks exuberant array'd ; 
But, ere they ceas'd to meet the view. 
Age long had changed their sable hue : 
And now, that hair, (so fades away 
The grace of man by sure decay) 

Canto i.] THE VASE.— THE HUNTSMAN. 19 

In time's successive lapse, had gone 

From black to white ; — ^from white to none ; — 

Save that the eye might ken, with care, 

A shriveird loiterer, here and there. 

And had some friend he valued, when 
He rose to strength, but seen him then. 
He mighty perchance, have deeply sighed 
To view such wreck of manhood's pride : 
But those who knew his youth and prime 
Had vanish'd on the stream of time. 

Howel, absorbed in pensive mind, 
To scenes of long lost years inclined. 
With look demure, and drooping head. 
Perchance bethought him of the dead. 
Nor can we marvel that if fain 
He would renew those scenes again ; 
For all his lines of life were cast 
'Mong liberal masters, to the last ; 
And dear the strengthening ties that bind 
Man's nature to the good and kind. 

The worthy Knight, with grief impress'd. 
His generous sympathy expressed. 


As memory letrospective ran. 
While thns he view'd the aged man. 
Oh ! he had known him hale and bold ; 
Of form athletic, strong of hold ; 
Free in the chase ; of ardour vast ; 
Even when his better days had past. 
But now, with grief, his frame he yiew'd ; 
His stooping shoulders, time-subdued. 
Where oft, a child, he lov'd to climb ; 
Which oft, full oft, in boyhood's time. 
O'er rapid stream, thro' brake and mire. 
Had borne him ; — and had borne his sire. 

And then he thought, in careless days. 
When stray 'd his feet to error's ways. 
How Howel's zeal, tho' indiscreet. 
Would shield him from correction meet : 
Aye, oft, when due restriction came. 
Would snatch him from the worthy dame ; 
For she would chide, when err'd the youth. 
To guide him in the paths of truth ; 
And now, by wisdom's precepts led. 
The rays of virtue crown'd his head. 

Canto i.] THE VASE.— THE HUNTSMAN. 21 

Sir Edward, thus^ while ancient zeal 
Claimed all bis soul^ in strong appeal , 
Brooded, and sigh'd^ that nought could save 
Staunch Howel, gathering to the grave. 

But, tho' his failing eye was dim, 
Tho' feebly moved each totfring limb. 
Still faithful Memory held her seat ; 
Still would he stories wild repeat ;« — 
His amply store could still supply 
The tales of ages long gone by. 

Again the Knight the veteran scann'd, 
And gently press'd his quiv'ring hand ; 
Then, bending to his deaf ning ear. 
Kindly bespoke him word of cheer ; — 
" Good Howel, ever welcome here. 
Gladly I fill thy horn once more ; — 
Then quaff the mead to days of yore : 
Thou saw'st, and now can'st well retrace, 
Sir Harry's manly form and grace : 
I'd give my heritage to see 
Him here on earth : — it may not be ; 
Heaven grant I yet, among the blest. 
May see him in supernal rest. 


Recall thy youthful years^ — relate 
The tale of Colyn Dolphyn's fate." 

Old Howel raised his palsied head^ 
Received the hom^ and drank the mead ; 
But, ere he quaffed, he gave the toast. 
Thro' life's long years he valued most : 
'^To good Sir Harry's deathless name!" 
And from his inmost soul it came. 

Awhile the old roan s tears were shed. 
As on his staff he laid his head ; — 
Anon, around a glance he cast ;-— 
Then paus'dy—*and ponder'd o'er the past ; 
Reviewed old Chiefs, and trac'd their ways. 
Thro' vista dim of early days : 
And as they rose to life anew. 
Associates numerous sprang to view. — 
One feature strong, — ^like leader vain, 
Marshall'd a thousand in its train ; 
Then with them burst, from memory's gloom, 
Colyn's dread crimes, and awful doom ! 
And, thus replete with deeds of old. 
His tale the centenarian told. 

Canto i.] THE VASE.— THE HUNTSMAN. 28 

But ere the theme engross'd his mind, 
To former habits still inclined, 
While yet to fav'rite scenes he dung. 
Excursive stray'd the old man's tongue. 

One Winter s noon^< — I then was hale, 
And little reck'd the piercing gale, 
Tho' now, (why should I grieve to share 
The lot assign'd mankind to bear ?) 
My blood inert, my senses quell'd, 
I shiver in the frost of eld : 
Yet, tho' enveloped in decay. 
Recall I still that stirring day ; 
By memory well retain'd in view 5 
The proudest day I ever knew. 
When first, to fix my rural fame, 
Sir Harry's huntsman I became. 
Sir Harry, good and kind ! to whom. 
Returning from the Holy Tomb, 
Distinguish'd Famagusta gave, 
In sacred shrine, a pilgrim's grave. 


Yet, tho' this world his soul has spurn'd, 

And his fine form to dust has tum'd, 

These many years, I cherish^ still. 

His memory, with devoted will ; 

And tho' the Christian, ever blest, 

Reposes in celestial rest, 

Still fancy gives him to my sight, 

In thoughts of day, — ^in dreams of night. 

Howe'er, — ^before the earliest ray 
Broke forth, to warn the gloom away. 
Of that remote, eventful day. 
At sound of horn, with ardour high, 
Muster'd the pack in jovial cry ; 
And soon, — nor were our ejBTorts vain, 
The Knight and I, and all the train, 
Chas'd many a stag o'er hill and plain. 

Buan, Sir Harry's fav'rite hound, 
Buan, whose feet scarce touch'd the ground. 
Thrice swift o'er all the hunting train. 
That never challenged aught in vain. 
Urged on, that morning, far a-head ; 
Triumphant urg'd, so well he sped. 

Canto i.] THE VASE.— THE HUNTSMAN. 86 

Oh ! how it joy'd my soul to trace 
The devious windings of the chase ; — 
Dashing^ anon^ in rapid race^ 
Adown the slope^ thro' copse and glade. 
Verging the forest's deeper shade ; — 
Now thro' the wood, in chorus sweet. 
Then bursting out, with flying feet. 
And darting o'er each craggy steep, 
They thread the dingle dark and deep. 

But I have wandered, and I crave 
Forgiveness, — hovering o'er the grave ! 

One Winter's noon, — ^but, since that day. 

Full eighty years have pass'd away ; 

And aD who saw the pirate's form. 

Beside myself, and felt the storm 

That rose in boom and thunder-roll. 

To claim his breath, and wing his soul. 

Have moulder'd in the clay-cold tomb, — • 

Save old Gwenllian of the coomb, 

Who still survives, to ponder o'er 

The dark'ning past, with mental pore. — 

She lives ;• — ^but scenes of feat and glee 

Poor time-worn Gwen no more shall see : 



Withdrawn from labour's active throngs 
The couch of age has held her long.— - 
AH ! all ! whom else in youth I knew, 
Haye bidden mundane friends adieu ; 
Have past, — no more to earth allied. 
The mystic bourn of human tide. — 
Yet still I live, to pain consigned. 
Obtuse to converse,—- almost blind. 
And to the nook of age confined. 

A joyful chase, the other day. 

Hard by the castle gate, they say. 

Brushed on, with manv a shout and cheer ! — 

I heard it not, so deaf my ear ; 

Grown almost senseless to the sound 

Of huntsman's horn, or tuneful hound. 

Ah me ! with health and vigour fraught. 
In manhood's date, I little thought 
The time would come, that all subdued. 
The hand of keen decrepitude 
Would crush me ;-— *but I long have found. 
While death's stem heralds gather round. 
And more and more my strength decays. 
Labour and sorrow's nerveless days ! 


Bewilder'd in the mazy tale, 
The huntsiDjEtn's memory seem'd to fail ; 
For scarce a prying look he cast> 
In mental vision^ o*er the past^ 
Than^ by his ruling passion sway'd. 
To hounds, and horns his fancy stray*d. 

The Knight, tho' much he wishd to hear 
The tale pursued, express d his fear 
That aged Howel, time oppressed. 
Had long required reviving rest. 

An ancient Hirlas now he filFd, 
Meantime his heart with kindness thrill'd. 
And to the veteran's hand he held 
The draught mellifluous, that dispelFd, 
Awhile, of years the weary pain, 
Somewhat renew'd exertion's reign. 
And cheer'd the heart to joy again* 

The high ton'd harp at once renews 
Its swells extatic, that difiuse 
A varied joy : — the vocal train 
Advance, — ambitious to sustain 


Their cherished fame ; and triplets rise. 
Which well record the maxims wise 
Of Cambria's Bards ; — which still impart 
Precepts refined, to raise the heart. 

While music thus bestowed its zest. 
Pleasure was high in every breast ; 
And ladies fair, in health's high bloom, 
Breath'd fragrant zephyrs round the room. 

By kindness cheer'd^ and genial rest, 
HoweFs rekindling glance exprest 
A mind from languor s pain released ; — 
And soon the harp and singer ceas'd. 
While, now renew'd, the tale was told 
That seiz'd the soul of young and old. 






Zfit ibfiititotecft— Q:He zvUA* 






Wxt jbiiipitirecft^— She SmK 

f**^**^^*^^'**^***^** #^« 

One Winter's noon, a dubious sail 
Came on^ impeird by gustful gale : 
North-east^ in course oblique^ she bore ; 
And seem'd to seek Dunraven's shore. 
With cctnvass reef'd, in rapid sweep. 
She dash'd impetuous thro' the deep.— « 
The ruthless waves beset her course ; 
Assailing with redoubled force : 
The while, like tempest's plaything, sent 
In frolic, to and fro she went. 


Peril approach'd^ in frightful form^ 
Confederate of the sea and stoim : 
Terrific storm ! that knew no pause ; 
While spum'd the ship her rudder's laws. 
And ocean's thousand^ rabid jaws 

Rear'd madly to devour.— 
Now robed in surf, — ^now forward flung,— 
That bark was seen the waves among. 

Beyond the pilot's power. 

Anon — ^with sail and cordage riven, — 
On Tuscar's lurking sea-rocks driven, 
A widely scatter'd wreck, she gave 


Her crew to feed the gorging wave.— 
The men, oh ocean's mercy cast. 
To drifting yard and spar held fast ; 
Some, thus befriended, sought the shore ; 
And some, engulphed, were seen no more. 

Wigmore's high point Sir Harry gain'd ; 
Bulwark by nature well ordain'd 

To brave the daring main ; 
Whose waves have warr'd, from age to age. 
Against its front, in ruthless rage ! 

Have warr'd, — ^but warr'd in vain. 


From this high igtation^ coilld he view 
The hapless, fast decreasing crew, 
In struggle hard^« — and, prompt to save, 
Celestial Mercy's mandate gave. 

Thus, to his faithful band :• — 
Urge! urge ! your steps thro' surf and gale, 
To seize from death,— if aid avail, — 

Yon seekers of the strand : 
To those afar your boats be sent ; 
These near, — the welcome line be lent : 
Nor paused — ^for bitter is the strife ; — 
And keen the pang of parting life. 

Dewryn, alert at every call. 

In day of need, the friend of all, 

Was vanward in the start : 
Tho' small his form, yet nature kind 
Gave him the boon, of yore assign'd 
To Ifor of the mighty mind, — 

A noble, generous heart. 

The Knight, whatever might betide. 
Found Dewryn ever at his side ; 
And oft his faith had well been tried, 


34 THfi DOOM OF COLYN DOLPilYN. [Caniv ii. 

In weal^ and eke in woe: 
A better man he never knew ; — 
In peace, he serv'd his interest true ; 

In danger^ faced his foe. 

Tho* forward all, with ardour keen, 
First in the wave was Dewryn seen ; 
Aye, first, with helping hand, beside 
The foremost in the hostile tide. 
Whose brawny arm, and ample chest, 
Impelled him far beyond the rest.— 
Closely he view'd the man immense ; 
Giving him all his visual sense ; 
For, as this victim of the storm 
Rear'd, in the wave, Herculean form, 
And stood erect, in ample view,— - 
Fierce Colyn Dolphyn well he knew.- — 
Good cause, in sooth,*— for he had lain, 
Thro' weary months of want and pain. 
Till ransom came, in durance dark, 
A captive in the pirate's bark. 

In calm,^ — ^in storm, — still Devnryn's mind 
Was to sarcastic wit inclined ; 

Canto ii.] THE 811 IP WRECK. —THE TRIAL. s& 

Nor could he now, midst scenes of woe, 
His much-loved jeering joke forego ; 
So, even in storm and ocean swell. 
He thus address'd the Pirate fell ; 

Ho ! Colyn ! Satan's tough compeer. 

At last his victim, art thou here? 

Bear up, Old Dreadnought; hail! what cheer? 

Come ! clear this pool — ^nor fume nor fret ; 

Exalted fate awaits thee yet. 

Scarce had the taunt sarcastic staid. 
Than Colyn furious effort made 
To meet the scoifF, and to repay 
The tongue that haiFd his evil day. 

Like monster fell, of deadly fang, 
To gripe his prey, in wrath he sprang : 
For, though assailed by spar and block, 
Dash'd by the waves against the rock, 
A shatter'd man, in piteous plight. 
Yet, rage supreme renow'd his might ; 
And, but that comrades interpos'd, 
Dewryn's career had there been olos'd. 


The Boa thus^ on torrid soil^ 
Darts fiercely forth from ambush'd coil, 
Atid, arm'd with force constrictive^ holds 
The Tiger in its hopeless folds. 

By force superior quell'd at last, 
And held in iron bondage fast> 
Along the dell their charge they led. 
Where streamlet pure its hollow bed 
Had deeply worn, in rapid course. 
To join Sabrina's billows hoarse ; 

Monkuash its source salubrious knows. — 
Now pass'd they gardens/--orchards sweet. 
Where rich Pomona takes her seat. 
Breathing pure fragrance o'er the plain. 
In bounteous Autumn's fruitful reign ; 

The reign that Nature's wealth bestows. 
But then, beneath hoar Winter's air. 
Nor fruit, nor odorous breath, was there. 

Thro' Marcross on, — its House of Prayer 
They pass'd, (and fell the Pirate's glare ! ) 
Just as the Priest, with mournful mind. 
Of youth had dust to dust consigned. 

Canto ii.] THE SHIP WRECK.— THE TRIAL. 87 

The rural concourse, thither led 

To pay sad duties to the dead, 

Shrunk^ shuddering, from the Pirate's path : 

His darken d brow of gathering wrath ; 

Shunning the wretch who hurried by 

The chancel with averted eye : — 

For sacred altar, — ^holy rite, — 

Were scenes abhorrent to his sight. 

Sir Harry's towers, as on they prest, 
Arose in front, for welcome rest : — 
The warder now, the train in view. 
The heavy portal open threw ; 
And then they bore, at twilight deep. 
Their captive to the castle-keep. 

Colyn, by no disaster quell'd. 
Audacious threats of rescue held : 
Spoke of confederates on the sea; 
Comrades he ween'd, who still might play^ 
To grace Sir Harry's Christmas sport, 
A merry pastime in his Court ; 
And hoped, tho' then by hosts beset. 
To lead their lively gambols yet. 


But Jest the threat^— which futile seem'd^ — 
Should in disaster be redeem'd. 
And ruin rush, in reeking guise>— 
The Knight,— to obviate such surprises- 
Held, in the guard-room^ council wise. 

That fierce marauders ranged the sea,>— 
Fair order's outcasts,r— prone to prey ; 
A ruthless, crime-devoted race, 
Who gave no mercy, — craved no grace ; 
In blood and plunder callous grown, 
Was long, from sad experience, known. 
And such, mayhap, in period brief. 
Might sally, like nocturnal thief. 
In vengeance, to release tlieir chief. 

Admonished, thus, by prudence grave, 
The Knight his final mandate gave ; — 
That only one revolving sun 
Should in its course diurnal run, 
Ere, by tribunal just arraign'd. 
For laws of God and man disdain'd, 
Colyn should freely plead his cause,-— 
And stand the test of HoweFs laws. 


Revolving soon, in rapid flighty 
Morn, noon, and eve declin'd to night ; 
And gloomy night again gave way 
To radiant dawn, the source of day. 

As morn arose, in blushing grace. 
Beaming her rays o'er Nature's face, 
Around the castle rang the jar 
Of bolt withdrawn, and yielding bar : 

The javelin men, at trumpet-call. 
Were rang'd around the spacious hall :— 
Then met the Court, in solemn state ; 
Urgent the cause ; the duty great : 
The judgment seat Sir Harry graced ; 
Below, the legal train were placed . 

Then to the Court was Colyn led ; — 
Fierce Colyn, of resounding tread. 
Whose frame athletic, stature taU, 
Like Saul in Israel, tower'd o'er all.-- 
And soon the criminal was seen 
Full at the bar : — his scornful mien 
Defiance told :— his bufly form 
Bore impress hard of many a storm. 


Then what avails this pompous train ? 
This specious form how very vain 1 — 
Foredoomed by thee, whatever my fate. 
No brief delay would I create 
By futile plea : — ^but friends have I, 
Of fearless front ; — avengers nigh :— 
Friends who may bid thy terrors cease 
In death ; for numbered are thy days. 

Tho' now thy dungeons dank detain 
My dauntless rovers of the main ; 
Debarred the beaming eye of light,^— 
Thine are they not by warrior might : 
Prostrate, with scarce of life a gasp. 
The tempest gave them to thy grasp : 
The grasp that seiz'd them in the surge. 
Senseless : — ^but fruitless all I urge. 
To gain their freedom,* — gallant crew ! 
Whose equal leader never knew : 
I may as well invoke the dead :. — 
Foreboding Prudence bids thee dread ! 
Aye, dread the woe that might betide. 
Were they at large thy towers beside. 


Why should they mar, puissant Knight ! 
That goodly form so richly dight ? 
That face which tells of wine the power ? 
Those eyes equipped for lady's bower ? 
And it were sad they should deface 
Those spangled bands of gold and lace ; 
Thy doughty legion, valour fraught. 
Who muster'd might, and stoutly fought,^ 
By thee, redoubted champion, led. 
Against the drowning and the dead. 

A fair defence belongs to me ; — 
Grant it, — ^or cease thy mockery. — 
I crave,— who never craved before, — 
Freedom to wield my brand once more : 
Well has it cleared my course through life ^ 
In peril oft, and dubious strife,—^ 
And I would fain, ere cease my breathy 
That it should pave my path to death. 

Wouldst thou, from knighthood s chivalry 
To this right hand, — ^from fetters free,— 
Once more my trusty blade consign,—- 
Stern arguments would, then, be mine. 


Now came the jurors on^— and gave 
Their just resolve, m accents grave :— • 
And thus the sentence.— -Colyn ! list !— 
We doom thee to the wind and twist ;«— 
To writhe,— thou wolf of callous heart,— 
Until thy soul and body part ! 

When Colyn heard the sentence given. 
Within his breast no string was riven ;— 
No nerve of latent hope was wrung;— 
No chord of social tie unstrung ; — 
For generous thought was ne'er his own ; 
Nor fibre fine, of tuneful tone. 

The fate proclaim'd, — Sir Harry rose 
To name the pirate's parting time ; 

The final hour, that here should close 
His dark career of crime. 

Nor silent Colyn ; — ^he whose wrath 

On mountain guilt was based ; 
Who never sought the peaceful path 

By Christian precept traced ; 
Who now,— by no compunction pain'd, 
A bitter colloquy sustained. 


Sir Harry. 
Swift ! swift ! have been thy hands, to shed 
The blood of man ; — the guiltless head 
Has sunk beneath thy sword ; — thy thrust 
Has sent all ages to the dust. 

Thou,— in thy lust for blood elate, — 
The young, the fair ! didst immolate ; — 
Nay, e'en, — ^in rampant crime's excess^ — 
Didst slay from very wantonness : 
Here stays thy course ;— thy guilt is o'er ;— 
And, — Colyn ! thou shalt slay no more. 


Bravely! Sir Harry ;— but when last. 
On yonder wave, our converse past. 
Composed, no grievous accents rung. 
Denouncing, from thy courteous tongue. 

If true the charges now preferred, 

Thy sway would long have been deterr'd ;— 

For, when a captive thou didst cower. 

All quaiHiig, to my ruling power. 

Thine would have been, to quell thy pride, 

A spacious grave in ocean wide ;— 


Then would the lands^ and lordships fair^ 
In ransom paid^ have blest thy heir: 
But thou didst clingy with coward hold^ 
To life; — and I was poor in gold. 

Sir Harry. 
Wolf of the landy — of waves the sharks — 
What tongue can tell thy purpose dark !— 
But Truth in vain her powers employ 
To him whose guilt is all his joy. 

Still fresh, — -preserved in memory's roll,-— 

The deed that gladdens now thy soul : 

And never shall its record fail. 

While mental energies avail. — 

Still present seems the hapless day 

That doom'd my pinnace for thy prey, 

While bearing towards the English strand ; 

By two domestics only mann'd, 

To ply the oar :— but thou couldst boast. 

Of swords and spears, a gleaming host. 

Encountered, thus, in hopeless fight. 

We could not,— -did not brave thy might ;— 

Yet, faithfol Owen felt the blow 

That sent him to the gulph below. 



Audacious he to bear away, 
And baulk me of my golden prey: 
Then, if I smote^ 'twas but to stay 
His servile arm ;-^and such thy fate. 
Had not thy gold prolonged thy date. 

Sir Harry. 
Unknown to Truth thy tal^ : — I spoke. 
And Owen ceas'd his vigorous stroke ; 
Nor longer vain resistance made, 
Ere yet was rais*d thy murderous blade : 
Still down it came, with wrathful force : 
Its victim fell, a lifeless corse. 
His blood th' ensanguin'd billow bore. 
When he had sunk, to rise no more :— 
As rolled the crimson wave away, 
I bum'd for retribution's day. 

The ransom paid, I hoped, in time. 
Thy life should answer for the crime. 
How just that hop&— «I need not state : 
Witness thy now impending fate. 

Yet here untold had been the wrong. 
Now blazon'd by thy daring tongue. 


But for thy choice ; — ^nor shall it, still, 
Assist thy cup of guilt to fill. 

What vails exhorting voice ;— e'en now. 
Of all thy crimes exultant thou : 
Treading alas ! with fiendftd glee. 
The threshold of Eternity.— 
Or dost thou still adhere to hope. 
That vainly dreams of longer scope 
To thee on earth ? — ^It must not be ; — 
For, were I now to set thee free. 
The blood, thy future course might shed. 
Would call for vengeance on my head. 

Thy day is come :— that vigorous frame. 
And wrathful eye, shall soon be tame. 
Not long that impious tongue shall hold 
Its converse ; — motionless and cold. 
Cold as the bones, on many a strand. 
Of those who fell beneath thy hand ; 
Its sound shall cease of rage or glee :— 
JBut, when from earthly suffering free, 
A sterner reckoning thine shall be ; 
Unless thou seek, with contrite heart, 
Heaven's mercy ere thy soul depart. 



Go, recreant Knight, of prostrate mind. 
To bigot croed thro' life resigned. 
When bears the breeze my parting knell^ 
On craven knees thy beads to tell. 

What if yon gallows be the meed 
Assigned me by thy Christian creed ?— 
To perish, now^ in manhood's prime. 
Or lengthen life to future time, 
Claims not my care ;— nor in my face 
Shalt thou the signs of terror trace ; 
Nor do I now my fate deplore ; 
The pangs of death will soon be o'er ; — 
Nor meanly for thy mercy plead ; — 
Fve led the life I still would lead ; 
For Colyn owns no future trust ; 
Nor hope, nor fear, beyond the dust. 
Such creed I ever would avow ;— 
Confronting death, I hold it now. 

Sir Harry. 
Monster ! for thee, of callous soul. 
Nor prayer shall rise, nor bell shall toll. — 
Before the Just, who reigns on high^ 
Whom thy foul deeds would fain deny, 



Soon shall thy guilty soul appear : — 
All human mercy ceases here- 
Brief be thy shrift ! Heaven's blessed light 
No other day shall greet thy sight.— 
At darkest hour of midnight gloom^ 
Goy — ^Heaven arrested^ — to thy doom. 


Fve news^ Sir Harry, to impart,— 

Glad tidings to a Father's heart ; 

Ere first our ship sustain d the shock 

That rent it on dark Tuscar's rock, 

A sail I sent to yonder strand. 

To greet thy Son : — ^my stem command 

Is ever well obey'd : — thy heir 

Has known, ere now, my comrade's care.— 

No more shall he thy face descry ; 

No longer bless a Father's eye : 

His blooming face, and ringlets fair. 

No more shall need a Mothers care. — 

Sir Harry's Dame will banish grief; 

From cares maternal find relief. 

Sir Harry. 
Fiend ! thou art foil'd :— Heaven's guardian care 
Has shielded well St. Donats' heir.— 


The demon ship, despatched by thee. 
Has known a fearful destiny ! 
No more her prow shall break the curl 
Of rippling wave ; — ^the sail to furl 
Her crew no more shall rise : — at last. 
Her final anchor has been cast. 

They found a speedier course to wealth 

Than ransom, murderous deed, or stealth : 

In full content, their bodies heap 

The coral caverns of the deep : 

And, thus, with ocean's treasures blest. 

They crave no more,— but are at rest. 


The tale thy visions wild create. 

Is false !— Who told thee of their fate ? 

Sir Harry. 
Who told the tale avails thee not ; 
Now !—Colyn,— calmly hear their lot : 
They steer'd,— -the tempest at the helm, — 
Where mountain breakers overwhelm ; 
Bore down beneath the light of day, — 
Engulphing billows knew their way,— 
And found a port, not named by thee ; 
A harbour in Eternity. 



That tale^ sleek Knight, thy bosom cheers^ 
Lights up thy brow ;— allays thy fears.— 
I joy thee ! then, of Fancy's theme ; 
Nor would I mar Delusion's dream ; 
Which yet, transformed, may show to thee 
Sad scenes of dire reality. 

Sir Harry. 
Good Time will tell : — ^but, come what may. 
Twill not be thine to see the day. 

Here rose the Court. — ^The sentinel 
Led Colyn, guarded, to his cell. 

No more the voice of lengthen*d age 
Could in the tale prolonged engage. 
Without repose :— and Howel's head, 
Pillow'd by friendly hands, was laid 
On oaken staff :*— and hard respired 
His breast; with strong exertion tired. 

The Knight,— of sympathy the soul. 
Zealous with weakness to condole, 


And prompt to deed humane^ once more 

Arose^ to serve his servant hoar. 

A cup he held of generous wine^ - 

The juice of fair Campania's vine^ 

To greet his hand ;— but held in vain ; 

The Huntsman, would his master deign^ 

Preferred his native mead ; — and when 

The flowing Hirlas gave again^ 

Nectar of Britain's honied isle^ 

His lips resum'd their wonted smile. 

While grasp'd each hand the hom^ he quaff 'd ; 

Breath'd ; paus*d awhile ; renewed the draught ; 

And took his rest:— -then converse kind, 

Enhanc'd by sentiment refined, 

Prevailed around :— but need I say 

What spoke the glance of lovers gay, 

Enforc'd by courteous grace. 
To lovely nymphs, in rich array. 

Of beauteous form and face ? 
And mortal tongue may ne'er impart 

The deep revealings of the eye ; 
The sympathy of " Heart to Heart ;" 

The tale of sigh to sigh. 
Such there the tale,— the silent voW/— 
The Beings bright :i— where are they now ! 


To ardour's, energy restor'd^ 

Old Howel rais'd his head ; 
And^ craving pardon kind, deplor'd 

His tale so long delay'd,*— 
His strength gone byr-4iis memory frail : 
Then ponder'd,— -and renewed the tale. 






Sfie ^v^utiovu 





Vht ^fttntiou* 


In good Sir Harry's generous heart 

Kind Mercy well sustained her part ; 

For, there, resentment's transient sway 

To kind forgiveness soon gave way. — 

Such now the change :« — ^though passion bum'd, 

For one brief moment in his breast. 
Soon native sympathy returned. 

And each vindictive thought suppress*d. 
For, though denounced, in face of day, 
To sate revenge, the ruffian's prey ; 


68 THE DOOM OF COLYN DOLPf lYN. [Canto hi. 

The' e'en, perhaps, an hour's delay 

Might other bands bring on^ 
Whose swords and spears, in bloody fray. 

Should reek, ere day be done ; 
Or in his own heart's blood be dyed ; 
And Colyn's threats be verified ; 

No thought for self had he. 
To claim his care : — ^his feeling mind 
Was to the sinner's weal confined :— 

His long eternity. 

The Knight humane, ere rest he knew. 
Gave to the warder strict command 

Compassion's dictates to pursue. 

By soothing word, and conduct bland ; 

That welcome rest, and treatment kind. 

Might calm the convict's raging mind. 

Absorbed in^beatific thought ! 

The pious Priest, in fervour, sought 

The ward where Colyn lay, 
Heav'ns Word of Promise to impart ! 
Soften to penitence his heart ;-— 

Beside his couch to pray. 

Canto ra.] THE EXECUTION. 5ft 

When came the Holy Man, with fear 
He view'd the furious Buccaneer^ 
Transfix'd ! — He saw the demon glare ! 
And felt how vain his presence there ! 
But, borne by duty to the spot, — 
Still would he hope,— where hope was not. — 
Beseeching eye he rais'd, at length. 
To Heaven, and felt renewing strength.-^ 
Approach'd he, then, the felon's bed. 
With heart misgiving,* — cautious tread. 
And hail'd him, thus, with voice benign. 
While held his hand Salvation's sign : 

To cheer thy soul with hope of grace, 
A Brother Sinner seeks thy face :— 
Heaven's healing peace be thine ! — Repose 
Thy trust on Him, whose mercy knows 
No end !— 'then rend thy contrite heart, 
Ere from this scene thy soul depart I 


And who art thou, whose voice assails. 
The dungeon's rest, with piteous wails ? 
Has good Sir Harry here thee placed 
Beside me, lest of sleep I taste ? 


Or was he, peradventure, loath 
My shatter 'd firame should harbour sloth? 
In thunder speak! or whining cease: 
Give me storm !— or give me peace ! 

To give thee Peace ; — surpassing all 
That can, beside^ to man befall. 
If thou, with suppliant hearty repent, 
I come ! — ^by GOOD Sir Hany sent. 


The boon^ Sir Harry goad would grant. 
Accept I gladly :— Peace ! — avaunt ! 

With tearful eye, the trembling Priest 
His fervent supplication ceased ; — 
And hurried out: — the convict^ theu. 
So lately rous'd, reclin'd again ; — 
Not to repose :— despite his pride^ 
He shudder'd at the strenuous stride 
Of Death mysterious l*— yet, his scorn 
Would fain deny his state forlorn. 
At last, — ^from all intrusion free. 
He spoke in sad soliloquy ! 

Canto hi.] THE EXECUTION. 61 

** In calm^ and storm^ and frequent strife, 
Fve led a dark, remorseless life ! 
life that, in retrospective view. 
Seems, e'en to me, of horrid hue ! — 
Life soon to cease !— Its verge I tread ! — 
Bourn twixt the living and the dead ! — 
'Twere well if so :•— but — thoughts intrude. 
Unknown before, — or soon subdued ;— 
Vehement thoughts !«-*that name to me— 
Judgment I — and Immortality !— 
fliereo/lfer— haunta my soul !— -I hear 
Its louder voice, as Death draws near. 
So scathed my breast !- — ^my view so drear ! 
I cannot hope : I will not fear ! 
And mine no wish : — ^unless it be- 
That I had perish'd on the sea : — 
Given to the gale my parting breath :— 

The deep my home—^in life or death. 


Would that the ocean's wildest rave 

Had sooop'd me out a yawning grave ! 

That hurricane, and raging seas. 

Had minister'd my obsequies ; 

Then would the storm have lull'd my sleep ; 

My rest — the tumult of the deep." 


The sounds that eas*d his fever'd breast 
Spoke not Contrition's voice distressed ; 
But hard reflection^ that betray'd 
A mind that could not retrograde :— ^ 
And something in his mood was there 
That sank repentance in despair : 
Not the despair that quakes the knee> 
From abject imbecility^ 
But that despair, — ^from fear apart/— 
That owns the indurated heart : 
The heart that braved, in rapine's hour, 
Terrestrial and supernal power :— 
The sear'd despair, beyond redress : 
The blank of utter hopelessness. 

When ceas'd his utterance, Colyn's mind 
To thoughts intense was still consign'd ; 
Till reason, if its ruling might 
Was ever his, forsook him quite : 
Then ran his mental power^ depraved. 
Adrift on madness ;--«nd he raved I 

Now solemn vespers had been sung ; 
The curfew long its peal had rung ; 

Canto hi.] THE EXE5CUTI0N. 63 

The fox resumed nefarious prowl ; 
The kennel yell'd, in dismal howl ; 


And hooted oft the omen'd owl. 

The raven hoarse was heard to croak^ 
On restless wing^ from oak to oak ; 
And scenes around^ from Winter's thrall^ 
Like Colyn's hearty were barren all. 

Streamlets, which erst, in Summer's reign, 
Nourish'd the verdure of the plain, 
Fondled the lotus on th^r breast ; 
Brightened the dingle'^s varied vest. 
And cheered the ruminating flock. 
Had ceas'd to flow, — and tum*d to rock. 

Intense the blast : — ^the moon was high ; 
And clouds, foreboding, hurried by. 
In fearful haste : — the beach below 
Rumbled in discord, to and fro. 
As rose or fell the sea, whose wave 
Had enter'd, now, Tresilian's cave ; 
Where nymphs and swains resort, to see 
Fair Dwynwen's bow of Destiny ; 


And, by athletic feat, to know 
Their near, or distant marriage date ; 

Their path prescribed by love below ;— 
Their course inviolate. 

For all on earth, or young or old. 

Would fain the book of fate unfold. 

Hard by— old Gwerydd's holy tower 
Stood meekly, in umbrageous bower ; 
And Cjmthia's beams 'tvirixt waving boughs. 
Illumed the fane of sacred vows ; 
While painted glass, to font and tomb. 
Sent varied hues through midnight gloom. — 
And, thus, while silent as the grave 
Seem*d all around, — ^the trumpet gave 
Its sudden blast ! The echoing glen. 
With sounds recruited, rang again ; 

The noon of night was near at hand ; 
And, well array'd, the Castle band 

To court interior came ; 
Lest lurking ship, from creek or bay. 
Should Colyn's comrades yet display. 

His respite to proclaim. 

Canto hi.] THE EXECUTION. 65 

Then warning tone of muffled drum 
Told that his final hour was come. — 

From battlement^ and courts and mound^ 
A hundred flambeaus blazed around ; 
And, by their light, with needful guard. 
Sir Harry sought the Pirate's ward.-— 
As onward pass'd the jav'lin men. 
Bold Dewryn led the way again; 
Again confronted death ;^— for lo ! 
The Pirate aim'd a furious blow. 
With shackled arms, of iron power. 
Full at his head ; — ^his final hour 
Had not arriv'd : aside he sprang ;«-^ 
The manacles and fetters rang 
Against a column old, and prone 

The maniac fell, with force immense ! 
Prostrate he breath'd ; — but gave no groan ;- 

Dormant was every sense. 

Unconscious, from the crushing jar. 
They raised him to the funeral car ; 
Then to the place appointed past, 
In solemn mai*ch : 'twas Colyn's last. 


As on the dense procession sped. 
Sadden the felon rais'd his head ; 
And accents from his lips arose. 
That augur'd ill for his repose. — 
Once more the Priest, with nH>tive kind. 
Approached the man of troubled mind ; 
And fain, impressed with sacred views. 
Would Faith and blessed Hope infiise ; 
Then sought to sooth, by word and sign ;— 
Mercy his theme ; his voice benign ; 
But sought in vain ; — the wretched man. 
With glare terrific, seem'd to scan 
Some fearful form, whose stern control 
Absorbed his thought, and claim'd his soul. 
A form by Colyn seen alone : 
But oft was heard, the awfiil tone 
Of spirit fell, from bliss debarred ; 
Whose voice bespoke a master hard ;r— 
Exacting, from the man of crime. 
Some compact dark of former time. — 
So deem'd the crowd in horror's height ; — 
In shudder cold ; — so deem'd the Knight:— 
And e'en the Holy Father said. 
That Colyn, as he fateward sped. 
Held with the Fiend communion dread. 

Canto iil] THE EXECUTION. 67 

The dark procession halted, now, 
Beneath an oak's extended bought 
To which the fatal rope was tied, 
And, then, to Golyn's neck applied. 
Now, whether by the Fiend impelFd, 
Or that his boastful heart was quell'd. 
Remains in gfoom, — he coil'd, at length. 
For one fell eflfort all his strength : — 
One fiendful act, his fate to shun : — 
But, ere the purpos'd deed was done. 
While crowds, transfixed, withheld their din. 
He thus invoked the Sire of Sin : 

" Oh thou ! full well whom I have serv'd ; 
From whose commands I never swerv'd ;. 
To help thy faithful follower speed ! 
Nor stand aloof in hour of need ! 

By years that bade remorse adieu ! 
By deeds that ne'er repentance knew t 
By murder'd infant's parting breath ! 
By pleading Mothers, dash'd to death ! 
By hands, thro' life, in blood imbrued ! 
And by my soul ! with thee imbued ! 


Come to my aid ! avert this fate ! 
Oar compact told a longer date. 
Thine am I ! pledg'd by deed and vow ! 
Supreme of Darkness ! nerve me now !" 

No more was heard : — but, while on high 
Fierce thunder roU'd, and scowl'd the sky. 
He flung his hands apart ! — ^the stroke 
Fetter and chain asunder broke. 

*' God ! and enough," exdaim'd the Knight, 
'* That was not done by mortal might !" 
The crowd receding at the sight, 

Exclaim'd,— " the Foe prevails ! 
Who, tho' evading mortal ken. 
Governs the doom of evil men ; — 

The parting soul assails." 

And now, while mov'd the car along, 
Colyn sprang up with effort strong ; 
Grasp*d with one hand the rope above. 
While,— vain attempt ! the other strove 
Its tie to loose ; — ^but Dewryn's brand 
Instant obey'd his Chief's command ; 
And soon appear'd the sever'd hand 

Canto iu.] THE EXECUTION. 09 

In useless grasp ; — ^the crowd below 
Saw Colyn pendant to the bough. 

Then ! then ! the fearful struggle came 
Of tortured soid in mortal frame ! 
For oh ! what agonies assaiFd 
His frame, ere victor Death prevail'd ! 
Each nerve convulsive sprang in throes ! 
The bleeding arm still quiv'ring rose ! 
Distortive heav'd his lab'ring breast ! 
As if to bursting swell'd his chest ! 
At last, in Death's excruciate toil, 
life found release from mortal coil : — 
And Colyn's soul-forsaken mould 
All haggard hung; — ^grew stiff and cold. 

The spirit,— "lost to senseless clay. 
Took to the storm, and past away ; 
For loud the dearning tempest blew. 
And fierce the wild tornado grew. 
Their maniac forks the light'nings fling. 
And demon hosts are on the wing ; 
The warring winds assail the deep ; 
The waves infuriate upwards leap ; 


The beetling cliffs, in frequent crash, 
Hurl downwards with impetuous dash ; 
Fierce thunderbolts the forests rend. 
And all the elements contend. 

Annwn's gaunt hounds, from lurid lair. 
Burst fiercely forth thro' tainted air. 
On fiendful scent ! — and woe betide 
The soul such onset must abide ; — 

I've heard all sounds of mortal pain : — 

The love-lorn swain's despairing strain ; 

The shout of horror ! — fever's moan ; 

And varied torture's every groan : 

The craving voice when Famine speaks ; 

The drowning seaman's gurgling shrieks, 

When lost to strength, with palid face, 

He quiver'd in the flood's embrace ; 

And call'd,' — ^while onward ! onward driven ! 

In last appeal to man and Heaven. 

But such were music's sweetest quire 
To ears who heard the bowlings dire. 
When guilty Colyn's worried soul, 
Freed from the body's gross control, 

Canto hi.] THE EXECUTION. 7I 

Bade earth adieu : — and sped along/ 
Pursued by Annwn's hell-hound throng, 
To region hopeless^^ — where, alone, 
Essential Anguish holds her throne. 
Dewryn alone was tranquil here ; — 
Come foe, come fiend, he knew no fear ; 
But windward gaz'd, with tranquil eye, 
While peal'd the thunder thro' the sky ; 
And, when its rage still louder rose, 
Observ'd,— nor faiFd his calm repose, — 
'* A stirring breeze the demon blows." 
When roar'd the sky, and swept the blast. 
The curious crowd diminished fast. 
And gladly sought their homes of rest ; 
Save one — whose course of life, unblest. 

From social scenes refrained : 
A beldame strange,— of magic fame,— « 
Unknown her race, — ^her real name, — • 

Or how she life sustained. 

She came, while peal'd the thunder shower. 
And raved the storm, at midnight hour. 
In days remote; — but when she drew 
Her infant breath, no mortal knew. 



Her visage, wfaen she first appear*d. 
Was keenly wrung, and deeply sear'd ; 
And Time^ that wears the human frame. 
Assailed her not ; — ^for still the same 
Each feature seem*d :— Her evil eve 
Was never rais'd to greet the sky. — • 
She never sought the mirthful plain ; 
Nor moved in joyous Hymen's train ; 
But mutter'd oft, in voice morose ; 
And peasants call'd her— Mallt-y-Nos. 
To gloomy dell, or cavern deep. 
By day, the beldame fell would creep ; 
But night was hers ; — and then, 'tis said. 
Her witching spells were deeply laid. 

She was not seen the crowd among. 
When moved the midnight mass along ; 
When pray'd the Priest she was not seen ; 
Nor saw they yet her fearful mien 
When stayed the car: — but when, at last, 
Colyn his hands asunder cast. 
And rent, beneath the destin'd tree. 
His heavy shackles,—- there was she ! 

Canto hi.] THE EXECUTION. 73 

Twas deem'd that, when the demon chase 
Careering swept etherial space, > 

Exulting in their transient sway. 
She join'd her kindred, — and away ; 
For Mallt-y-Nos was ne'er again 
The hag, on earth, of wood or glen. 

Now toird Iltutus' bell : — the sound 
Swell'd thro' the urgent storm around,— 
Fatal to Satan's fleeting power :• — 
Responsive, — every martyr tower. 
From fair Gorwennydd's western line, 
To pious Teilaw's crozier shrine. 
Sent forth, unrung by mortal hand. 
The peal no demon might withstand.* — 
At once the tempest's roar assuaged ; 
Nor thunder roU'd, nor light'ning raged. 


Man, — prone to plaint, — thro' every stage 

Of transitory life, 
With changeful aim, from youth to age, 

Encounters care and strife. 

To be what he is not ; — ^to feel 

The dint of Disappointment's heel. 



Sleep bless'd the eyes of peasants low : 

With undisturbed repose; 
(For toO and health together go ; 

In rest their efforts dose) 
Unless Sir Harry's lofty state 
Might envy for their dreams create. 

The Knight retom'd, in musing deep, 

Encompass'd by his train^ 
To seek the soothing balm of deep :— " 

To seek^ — ^but not to gain ; 
For still his mind would romisate 
On Colyn's woe-forebodmg fate: 
And, pensive thus> till twilight grey, 
A weary night he pass'd away. 

At last the day*s effulgence brdie^ 
And all the village sought the oak ; 
To view, onoe more, the fiskoe that wore 
Such wrath a few short hours before. 

There, — ^breeze impeHM^r— the fdon hung : 
The sever'd hand, contracted, clung 

Carto in.] THE JBXBCUTION. 75 

Still to the rope ; — the mantle bore. 
In frequent gouts, his dotted gore. 

Scath'd was the tree, e'en to the core ; 
Yet long it stood ;•— but never more 
The branch airay'd in verdure bore. 

The beach they trod :— Destruction, there, 
Had stamped his footsteps ev'ry .where.-— 
Above,— below,— were strown along 
The fragments of a vessel strong. — 
Here*— helm and shatter'd masts were seen ; — 
There— lay the hull, the rocks between, 
With upward kee], and crag-rent side. 
Thro' which .had pass'd the refluent tide : 
And, all around, appear'd in view 
The bodies of a numerous crew. 
Whose course was run >-^«onfederates sent,. 
Well arm'd> on Ccdyn's rescue bent. 
But, ere they reach'd the rugged strand^ 
To ply the dirk, and light the brand. 
Justice ordain'd they should abide 
The tempest's ordeal ;-— and they died ! 


Whether they sued for human aid^ 
Or for their Maker's mercy pray'd, 
Can ue*er be known :• — the furious gale 
Reserv'd no voice to teU their tale. 
But sadly spoke the feature flushed 
How to the brain the blood had rush'd ; 
And fractured limb, and gash, and gore. 
Told of the buffetings they bore. 
Vengeance their aim !— But now suppressed 
Their rage ; — ^and there they lay at rest. 

No bosom heav'd with vital breath ; — 
On every tongue the seal of death 
Was press'd.— But, if in anguish keen. 
Ere lost to them each earthly scene. 
They rais'd the bosom's contrite wail 
To Him whose mercies never fail. 
That stilly orison, — we pray ! 
Was heard ere past their lives away. 

Here ceas'd the tale. — From central tower 
The clock proclaim'd protracted hour :— 
From Stradling's hall the guests depart ;.— 
But leave it with reluctant heart. 

. f .I'^^B. 

Canto hi.] TH£ EXECUTION. 77 

Sir Edward, — gone his grateful train, — 
Turned to the Huntsman once again ; — 
Again his aged hand he press*d ; 
Bade him good night! and gentle rest;—- 
And hoped^ to aid their Christmas cheer. 
He yet might see another year:— 
But, ere that year, revolving, fled, 
Howel was in his narrow bed. 




Among the aathorlties here advanced, are the aceoants of the 
winniiig of the Lordship of Ghimorgan, by Sir Edward Stradliog, 
of St Donats* Castle, and by Sir Edward Mansel, of Margam, both 
of whom wrote much about the same period (1572) ; the Chronicle 
of Caradoc, of Llancarvan, written about 1160, a good copy of 
which is inserted in the Mffvyrian Archaidogy of Wdles^ vol. Sd. ; 
and the writings of my late Father, Edward Williams (lolo 
Morganwg). The credibility due to the testimonies of these 
authors has, I trust, been satisfactorily ascertained in the notes to 
my former little Poem on Cardiff Castle. Other important 
auxiliaries are now adduced, whose evidences require also to be 
verified. Of these, the Reverend Edward Gamage, formerly 
Rector of St Athan, in the County of Glamorgan, claims especial 
attention ; his Genealogy of the Stradlings being, independent of 
its copiousness, continued nearly to the extinction of that family. 
This Gentleman was a branch of one of the most ancient, and 




respectable families of the GouDty ; and all his connexions appear 
to have been equally high. Being descended from one of the 
Sisters of the last male issue of the Turbervilles, of Goetty, the 
most powerful family of all the Normans that settled in Glamor- 
gan, and connected, by former marriages, with the family that 
prominently appear in this Poem, he was well qualified, in every 
respect, to compile a faithful account of them. 

He appears to have been a good Antiquarian ; and to have read, 
and studied, Welsh Manuscripts rather extensively. His own 
writings and collections sufficiently establish his national ardour, 
and literary taste. I have, in my Father*s hand, copies of his 
extracts from our ancient Bards, his Memoirs of the Stradlings, 
and his Introductory History of Glamorganshire ; a transcript iof 
which was, I believe, in the possession of the late William 
Vaughan, Esq., of Lanelay, a Gentleman of great Genealogical 
information. All these productions are in Wdsh. The original 
manuscripts are, I fear, like many more, lost. I saw some of 
them in 1801. 

Soon after the death of Edward Stradling, Esq., son of Sir 
^ward Stradling, and elder brother to Sir Thomas Stradling, the 
last of the name, at St. Oonats, a person named Llewelyn ab 
Ifan, of Goychurch, then about composing an Elegy to his 
memory, applied to Mr. Gamage for historical notices of the 
family ; and his request was liberally complied with. The good 
Rector, having first consulted his own numerous documents, went 
to Saint Oonats, where he had ample access to the ancient and 
extensive library of the Gastle, (alas! that it is gone) which he 
examined minutely; extracting, as he proceeded, every particular 


relating to the object of bis researcb. He transmitted, in a com- 
munication dated 1726, the result of bis assiduity to the Poet. 

Some allusions are made to several other Historical Records of 
different periods ; but as such can justly be considered only as 
varieties of Caradoc^s Chronicle (some of them presenting ampli- 
fications, others continuations,) they require no further notice. 

The Triads of the Island of Britain, sustained by various 
extracts from ancient Bards, are occasionally quoted, in support 
of the Mythologies of the Poem. Copies of these, varying in 
extent, arrangement, and subjects, are still extant ; but the most 
important of them appear to have been unnoticed, for some inter- 
vals of considerable duration. They generally refer to persons 
and circumstances that appertain to authentic history; but several 
incidents, stated in some of them, are mystically interwoven with 
the superstitions of the aboriginal Britons ; and with Druidic 
notions. Having been frequently recompiled from widely scattered 
manuscripts, in different districts, at various and distant dates, 
they are destitute of chronological arrangement. Some of them, 
seemingly, allude to events prior to the arrival of the Cymmry in 
this island. 

Robert Vaughan, Esq., the great Antiquary of Hengwrt, had 
a copy of them, containing ninety-one triads, which he collated, 
some time about 1660, with several others of greater antiquity. 
This copy appears in the Myv, Arch,, vol. 2. 

Thomas Jones, of Tregaron, (Twm Sion Catti) the reputed 
Robin Hood of Wales, made a collection of them, extending to 
126 triads, in 1601 ; and subjoined to it the following observa- 
tions :— 


*' Tlras end six score and six of the Triads of the Island of 

** These triads were transcribed from the book of Garadoc, of 
Uancanran, and from the book of leuan Breehva, (John of 
Brechva, circ ann. 1480) by me, Thomas Jones, of Tregaron ; 
and these are all that I could recover of the three hundred.*' 

This copy is also printed in the Myp, Jrch,, and is the one here 
used. It remained long quite unknown; but was at last dis- 
covered, brought to light, and translated into English, by my 

I have many mixed collections in my possession, containing 
manermu triads that strongly rescmbia those of the Island of 
Britain ; and that were, I am confident, included in the original 
three hundred. 

The notes that refer to the introduction of the Gospel into 
Siluria, and to the founders of some of our primitive Christian 
Churches, depend, in a great measure, on ancient Welsh docu- 
ments, caUed *' Achau Saint Ynys Prydain, &&** ; (Genealogies 
of the British Saints, &c) but the learned, and highly important 
work on this subject, just published by Professor Rees, of St. 
David's College, a work that every British Antiquary ought to 
possess, will amply vindicate my authorities on this subject 
Several allusions to it are cursorily introduced. 

Mr. Gamage's account presents an ample narrative, that pre- 
cludes, in many instances, the necessity of enlarged notes. It 
was evidently compiled both from various notices and memoirs, 


then available, and from traditions prevalent in the neighbour- 
hood. It commences with high encomiums on the subject of the 
Elegy ; a succinct account succeeds of the wars between Rhys ap 
Tewdwr and lestyn ap Gwrgan, which terminated in the subju- 
gation of Glamorgan, by the mercenary Normans, under Sir 
Robert Fitzhamon and his twelve attendant Knights, and the 
consequent seizure, by them, of its most fertile parts; — after 
which, the Genealogy required is thus given:— 
Extract of a letter from the Rev. E. Gamage, to Llewelyn ab 

Ifan,Nw,2^, 1726. 
The Genealogy of the Stradlings is as follows : Their original 
name was Esterling, and continued so for a few generations. 

I. To Sir William Esterling, the twelfth Knight, was given 
the Castle and manor of St. Donats. He married 
Howisia, or Hawys, daughter, and heiress, of Sir John 
Talbot, by a daughter of Cynvyn ap Gwerystan, Prince 
of Powys ; and by her had a son, 
II. Sir John Esterling, Knight, who married Matilda, or 
Mallt, the daughter, and hehress, of Sir Robert Corbet, 
Knight; and by her had a son, called — 

III. Sir Moris Esterling, Knight, who had a son by his Lady, 

Cecilia, daughter, and heiress of Sir Pigot de Say, 
Knight; the name of the son was — 

IV. Sir Robert Stradling, Knight, who was the first who wrote 

the name in that manner. He married Howisia, daugh- 
ter of Sir Hugh Brin, Knight ; a chiefbain of Welsh 
blood, by his Mother's side ; who was the lawful heiress, 
from failure of male issue, to the Castle and manor of 


LlandduDwyd, or St. Donats. Through her, the Strad- 
lings acquired a rightful title, by just heirship, to their 
estate ; and the family were not a little proud od that 
aocouot. The same feeling has, ever since, existed 
among them; for they have successively continued to 
enrol their names as Welshmen, according to the rights 
of just heirship, in high descent. They have been^ at 
ail times, through long ages, kind patrons to our primi- 
tive language ; and in this disposition they remain to 
this very day. Sir Robert, by his Lady, Howisia, had a 
son, whose name was — 
V. Sir Gilbert Stradling, Knight, who married a daughter of 

Sir John Saint Owen, Knight; his son, by her, was— 
VL Sir William Stradling, Knight, who married Cecilia, 
daughter of Sir Hugh Comwallis, Knight ; and by her 
had a son, named — 
VII. Sir John Stradling, Knight, who married Ann, daughter 
of Sir Hugh Mainford, Knight. In his time a great 
earthquake occurred in Glamorgan and Somersetshire ; 
occasioning immense injuries. In consequence of this, 
large portions of the sea cliffs, near St. Donats, fell, 
with thundering noise; acres of land were lost, and 
some injury sustained by the Castle; to repair which, 
considerable expense was incurred. He had a son, 
named — 
VIII. Sir Peter Stradling, Knight, who married Johanna, the 
daughter, and heiress of Sir Thomas Hawey, Knight, in 
the time of Edward the First. With her he had two 


manors in Somersetshire, called Cwm Hawey, and 
Hawey ; and another manor in Dorsetshire, (Caer Gorwy) 
called Gompton Hawey. The last manor was sold, not 
very long since, says Sir Edward Stradliug, (1573) the 
fifth of that name, from whose roll of pedigrees I have 
taken this accCmnt; but the manors of Hawey and Cwm 
Hawey still remain in the inheritance of his descendants. 
Sir Peter's son was— 

IX. Sur Edward Stradling, the first of that name, who quartered 
the family arms of Hawey with those of the Stradlings. 
He married Eleanor, the daughter and heiress of Gilbert 
Strongbow, Knight, of Caldicot Castle, in Monmouth- 
shire. The wife of this Gilbert was the only daughter, 
and heiress, of Richard Garnon, Esq. With her this Sir 
Edward Stradling had two manors in Oxfordshire. Their 
son was— 
X. Sir Edward Stradling, the second of that name. Knight, 
who married Gwenllian, one of the sisters, and the 
heiress of Sir Laurence BerkroUes, Knight, of New 
Castle, St. Athan (Uandathan) otherwise the Castle of 
East Orchard, as it is caUed in English. Their son 

XI. Sir William Stradling, Knight, who married Isabel, 
daughter, and heiress, of Sir John Saint Barb, Knight; 
but he received, with her, neittier lands in inheritance, nor 
in descent; because the estates of that family were 
entailed on male issue. This Sir William journeyed tq 
Jerusalem ; and was made a Knight, according to the 


forms and order of the Holy Sepalcbre. This occurred 
in the reign of Richard the Second, about the year of 
Christ 1880. His son was— 
XII. Sir Edward Stradling, the third of that name, Knight, 
who, being sole heh* to the above Sir John Saint Barb, 
quartered the arms of Saint Barb with his own. In the 
year 1419, that is, in the 18th year of the reign of Henry 
the Fourth, the inheritance of the BerkroUes, of New 
Castle (East Orchard), St Athan, fell to this Sir Edward ; 
and, with that, a claim to the fourth part of the lands and 
hereditaments of Turberville, Lord of Coetty. A law- 
suit ensued, in the King*s Bench: at last, that fourth 
part was adjudged to the Lord Gamage; because Sir 
Laurence BerkroUes had not a male heir of his own 
body, when he died. This Sir Eklward, also, in addition 
to the arms of St. Barb, quartered the arms of Berk- 
roUes; and with them, the arms of the Turbervilles, and 
those of lestyn ap Owrgan. He assumed the arms of 
lestyn ap Owrgan, because the only daughter, and heiress, 
of Howel ap Madoc ap lestyn, Lord of Ruthyn, was the 
wife of one of the first seven Knights of his family ; 
but I have not, hitherto, been able to find out her name ; 
nor, indeed, the name of her husband ; one of the first 
Knights ; because of the defect in the manuscript, from 
rottenness and antiquity. This Sir Edward married 
Jane, daughter of Henry Beaufort ; who, afterwards, 
became a Cardinal. She was a daughter bom to him of 
Alice, one of the daughters of Richard, Earl of Arundel, 


before be wai ordained. Abool the begimiiog of the 
reigB of Edward tbo Foprth, or towards the end of the 
reign of Henry the Sixth, be took a jonmey to Jerusa- 
lem, and was there made a Knight, according to the 
order of the Holy Sepulchre. On his retom, he brought 
with him, from Italy, a man of skiUul bands iu stone 
carving, who made the ornamental colamns that we see 
even to this day, £Eu;ing us, in the walls of the Castle of 
St Donats. This Sir Edward had a brother, named Sir 
John Stradling, Knigfat, who married the daughter, and 
heiress, of one Dauncey, in Somersetshire, and bad a son 
called Edmund, who had two sons, John and Edmund, 
from whose descendants there are many families in 
England, in various places. This Sir Edward had another 
brother, named William, from whom the Stradlings of 
Rutbyn, and others, are descended. 
XI 11. Sir Harry Stradling, Knight, (son of the above) married 
Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Thomas, of Raglan 
GasUe, and sister to Sir William Herbert, Earl of 
Pembroke; by her he had a son, iiamed ThoAias Strad- 
ling, and two daughters ; one of whom married Miles 
ap Hacry, from whom Mrs. Blanch ap Harry, her brothers 
and uncles, are descended. The seooniil daughter married 
Mr. Fleming, of Monktoq, in the vale of Glamorgan. 
This Sir Harry, in the sixteenth y^ar 0|f the reign of 
King Edward the Fourth, journeyed, like others of his 
ancestors, to Jerusalem, where he was honoured with 
the order of Knight of the Holy Sepulchre, like his 



Father, Grandfather, and others. This Sir Harry died in 
the Island of Cypros, on liis return homewards, in the 
city of Famagosta, and was buried there. His book of 
travels is to be seen, to this day, in the study of St. 
Donats' Castle ; remarkable for an account of the events 
of the journey, and the views he had of the countries, 
cities, towns, lands, and customs of the inhabitants of 
the nations, and various places he journeyed through *, 
together, with the condition of Jerusalem, as he saw it. 
In addition to this, it contained four superior Poems 
to the Holy Sepulchre; one in Latin, another in 
French, another in Welsh, and the fourth in Italian ; 
a language, with its books, much respected at St. 
Donats* Castle; for, in the principal schools of Italy, 
were the sons of this family brought up in learning, from 
very distant generations. 

Tiiis Sir Harry, returning once by sea to St. Donats* 
Castle, from his house in Somersetshire, was taken 
prisoner by that notorious sea-thief, Coltn Dolphtn, a 
native of Brittany, in France; and, for his release, was 
obliged to pay 2,300 marks ; to raise which sum, he was 
compelled to sell two manors, in Oxfordshire, and the 
manor of Tre-Gwilym, in the parish of Bassaleg, in 
Monmouthshure ; together with the manor of Sutton, in 
Glamorgan. After this event, he caused to be erected 
the watch-tower, in the new park of St. Donats, in which 
arms were placed, abd men to watcli, at night, for the 


sea-thief, Golyn Dolphtn, who too frequently cruised 
along the Severn Sea, on ship-robbing intent. 

On one long winter's night, the watch-tower being in 
full light, GoLYN DoLPHTN drew towards it; mis- 
taking it for Dunraven place ; and struck on the Nash 
sands, until his ship went to pieces ; but he and his men 
were taken, hanged, and buried under the hillocks that 
are to be seen on a spot on the brink of the sea, near 
the Gastle. For this, however, Sir Harry Stradling, 
it cannot well be devised why, was bitterly pursued 
at law, by Henry the Sixth. 

This Sir Harry was the last of the family that visited 
Jerusalem and the Holy Sepulchre ; but it tias been said 
in their house, and in the neighbourhood, from father to 
son, that many of them, besides these recorded, have 
visited that highly famed city ; but their books were not 
carefully attended to, and consequently lost. The son 
of this Sir Harry was Thomas Stradling, Esq. 
XIV. Thomas Stradling, Esq., called Sir Thomas Stradling 
by the Bards, who sang in his time; but who, possi- 
bly, did not know that the order of Knighthood 
was not hereditary, particularly after the incorporation 
of England and Wales, but only a gift from the prero- 
gative and will of the King; until the time that shall be 
mentioned before I conclude these memoirs of the 
Thomas Stradling married a daughter of TbomaS 
iC^'I Mathews, of Radyr, Esq., named Rennet, by whom be 

§0^^^^w^ <^^^^5**" • ^^ .^^P 

i^trtTif Stti^lKI* 

4P ^W^Ji*!'' WteWlf :; l^Ktf 

MMMf «•» J«lw fisrid Stifi; 
LatM aiftl ITclfSi Gptmrnm 


Oramman that erer were written, this, in ray opinion, 
is the best ; and the best, by far, with regard to its 
iostmctions to \Welsh Bards. David ap Rhys died, and 
soooafter thai, Sir William Griflyth and his lady. Agnes, 
with her little sod, was obliged to return to St. Donats ; 
walking all the way from Anglesea to Olamorgan. She 
and her husband had land allotted to them, atljlanfaetb- 
lu, in Anglesea, but they were obliged to turn out of 
it, on the death of Sir William Ghiffyth. The little boy, 
John David Rhys, was too young to walk, consequently 
his mother was obliged to carry him in her arms, and on 
her back, the greater part of the way. By the time she 
arrived at St Donats she was extremely ill, and 
died of the sickness. Sir Edward Stradling took the 
little boy to him, to the Castle; and placed him under the 
same tutors as his own son, named Thomas. The two 
boys became, reciprocally, great friends, beiog unwilling 
to separate, or be without each other. After the 
domestic schoo lof the Castle, the two young men were 
sent to the College of Sienna, in Italy, where they were 
brought up well, in all the learning of the place and age. 
After their return home. Sir Thomas married, had a son, 
named Edward, and John David Rhys was appointed his 
tutor in the Castle. On a certain time, as the young heir 
walked along the sea-shore, bordering the Castle, he 
inadvertently remained on a place that was higher than 
the rest, until the influx of the tide surrounded him too 
deeply to walk through it. He screamed out, and his 


voice was heard to tbe Castle ; bonemeD went to his 
immediate relief; but no horse could be prevailed on to 
take tbe water, against tbe waves white with foam : 
whereapoD, casting off hb upper clothes, John David 
Rhys went boldly into the water, against all the waves, 
and brought the young heir, uninjured, to land. For 
this, if great his respect before in the family, a thousand 
times. more was it now. In the course of time, the 
young heir was sent to the same school in Italy that his 
father had attended before him ; and John David Rhys 
accompanied him, as his principal tutor. They remained 
there for some years, and John David Rhys became so 
highly famed for bis great knowledge, that he graduated 
there, Doctor of Medicine ; but in process of time he 
returned to Wales, a Papist, from education ; but now a 
monk; and because the monasteries iiad been entirely 
suppressed, he purchased a small property at a place 
called Glun hir, on tbe margin of Cwm-llwch, at the 
foot of tbe mountain Bann-uwcb-denni, called in English 
the Breoonshire Beacons. At this place he studied and 
wrote his masterly Grammar; and Sir Edward Stradling, 
whose life he had saved, supported him in money, 
and every other requisite; showing him, additionally, 
unbounded respect. . In his old age, and very old he was, 
be removed to Brecon town ; where he ended his days, 
about fourscore years old, in the time of King James 
the First, (1609). Thus, according to all that I could 
understand from all records, letters, and other commemo- 


rating authorities, oral and written, that I either saw or 
heard of in St. Donats, should we believe, and that as 
long as the world shall continue, respecting the real 
history of that great scholar, Doctor John David Rhys ; 
and not give credence to the idle tales of the country, 
which relate that no one knew anything of his Father ; 
but that he and his Mother wandered and begged about 
the country, and were taken into the Castle, where the 
parent died ; — although, from that circumstance forward, 
the account thus related of him generally corresponds 
with what I have already stated. It is highly probable 
that the tongue of Envy was busy against him, on 
account of the great respect shown to him by Sir Edward 
Stradling, whose life he rescued from the vortex of the 
wave. This Sir Edward printed his Grammar, at his own 

Conceiving that you would be glad to have a me- 
moir of this good man, who, to the present day, is the 
chief tutor of all the Welsh Poets, I have, for awhile, left 
the genealogy of the family at rest, to record the account 
you here see of John David Rhys. 

I must now recur to the pedigree, where I broke off; 
that is, to Thomas Stradling, Esq. 

Jane, his daughter, as already said, married Sir Wil- 
liam Griffyth : they had three sons and seven daughters. 
The sons were,— Sur Rhys Griffyth, Edward Griffyth, 
and John Griffyth. The eldest daughter married a 
person named Stanley, of a place called Houghton ; the 


second, to Sir Ricbard Bulkley, Knight; — the third, to 
one named LeMris; but I have not, hitherto, learned 
his Christian name, nor his place of residence; — the 
fourth, to a chieftain of the Mostyns; — the fifth, to a 
son of another branch of that family, called Pierce 
Mostyn; — the sixth, to Simon Thelwal, Esquire; — and 
the seventh, to one Philips. 

Edward Griffyth, son of Sir William Griffith, mar- 
ried Jane, daughter of Sir John Pulston, Knight ; and, 
by her, had three daughters ; — one, named Jane, became 
the wife of Sir William Herbert, of St. Julians, near , 
Caerleon, on the Usk ; another daughter, named Catha- 
rine, married Sir William Herbert, of Swansea; and 
another daughter, whosejoame I have not ascertained, 
was married to Sir Nimolas Bagnol, Knight. I have 
heard, and read, that families innumerable, in North 
Wales, are descended from the «otts and daughters of 
Sir William Griffyth and Jane, the daughter of Thomas 
Stradling, Esq. 
XV. Sir Edward Stradling, the son and heir of Thomas 
Stradling, Esq., married Elizabeth, one of the three 
daughters of Sir Thomas Arundel, Knight, of Lanhey- 
ron, in Cornwall, called, in Welsh, Cerny w. They had 
four sons;— Thomas, Robert, £klward, and John. Ro- 
bert married the daughter of Watkin Lychor, of Ty theg- 
ston; Edward married the daughter, and heiress, of 
Robert Raglan, of Latitwit Major; and John entered 
into Holy Orders. This Sir Edward Stradling had two 


daughters: JaDe, married to Alexander Popham, of 
Somersetshire; and from them are descended several 
highly respectable families; Catharine, married to Sir 
Thomas Palmer, of Sussex, who had a son by her, named 
XVI. Sir Thomas Stradlingr, son of the last Sir Edward Strad- 
ling, married Catharine, the eldest daughter of Sir 
Thomas Gamage, of Coctty Castle, Knight, whose wife 
was Margaret, daughter of Sir John Saint John, Knight, 
of Bledso, in England. This Sir Thomas bad two sons, 
Edward and David, and five daughters; — Elizabeth, 
Thomasinc, Jane, Joice, and GweuUian. 
XVII. Sir Edward Stradliug, son of the above Sir Thomas 
StradliBg, Knight, married Agnes, second daughter of 
Sir Edward Gage, of Sussex, Kuight, and died without 
issue. He left his patrimony to John Stradling, grand- 
son to Harry Stradling, second son to Tliomas Stradling, 
Esq. This Harry Stradling, married the daughter, and 
heiress of Thomas Jubb, a very learned attorney, and bad 
a son, named Francis Strandling, Esq., who lived at St. 
Georges, near Bristol, and married Mary, . daughter of 
Bartholomew Mitchel, Esq. by whom be bad a son, 
named John ; — that is — 
XVIII. Sir John Stradling, Knight. He was created a Knight, 
by King James the First; and by the same King, 
subsequently, a Baronet. He was the fifth Baronet 
created. Before he came to the estates, he was oi:e 
of the Fellows of All Saints* College, Oxford. He 



published a volume of English compositions, called 
**Divme Poems;" and was, in 1720, Sheriff of Gla- 
morganshire. He married Elizabeth, daughter of 
Edward Gage, Esq., son of Sir Edward Gage, of Sussex, 
whose daughter was the Lady of Sir Edward Stradling, 
who gave the estates to his cousin, this Sir John Strad- 
ling, who had ten children; and who made the new 
park, and planted it with trees. He planted also many trees 
in the old park, and rebuilt, in a great measure, the old 
tower, that had fallen into decay. This tower was origi- 
nally erected by Sir Peter Stradling, the eighth of the 
name, to give light to his galley, at nights, when the 
family returned from Gwm Hawey to St. Donats. They 
occasionally resided in Somersetshire, but mostly at 
St. Donats. 

A report has gone abroad that the principal motive for 
erecting and lighting this tower was, to decoy vessels to 
the dangerous rocks that extend along the coast, for spme 
miles, east and west of St. Donats* GasUc: but this 
kind-hearted, and charitable family were far indeed from 
-entertaining any such intention. It is, however, said 
that the light in the tower, led some vessels astray, that 
were ultimately lost on the borderiog rocks; but so far 
were the Stradlings from plundeting the cargoes of such 
wrecks that, instead, they preserved and protected them, 
to the utmost, for the rightful owners ; affording, also, 
every succour to the crews. Finding, notwithstanding, 
» that such accidents resulted, the light was thenceforth 


discontinued; and the tower fell into dilapidation : but 
it continued to stand until the time of Queen Elizabeth, 
when it was blown down by a tremendous storm, that 
likewise threw down many of the large old trees in the 
park; besides producing severe ii^aries in the country. 
When this tower became generally known, it served as 
a beneficial beacon, for upwards of two hundred years, 
to warn vessels off the dangerous Severn coast ; so, for 
one ship that was lost through it, at first, scores were 
ultimately preserved, that wobld, otherwise, have in- 
evitably been destroyed. This consideration induced Sir 
John Stradling to renew it, strictly forbidding, however, 
the use of any light. Thus restored, it remains until 
the present period. 
XIX. Sir Edward Stradling, Baronet, eldest son of Sir John 
Stradling, succeeded his father, and married Mary, the 
daughter of Sir Thomas Mansel, of Margam, Baronet. 
This Sir Edward, at the commencement of the great 
civil war, in the time of Charles the First, raised a 
regiment of men, amounting to one thousand and fifty- 
five, gave them arms, from his own Castle, clothed all 
the common soldiers at his own expense, and led them 
to battle, in defence of Charles, to Edge-Hill ; where he 
was taken prisoner, and conveyed to Warwick Castle. 
He died at Oxford, and was buried in the Chapel of 
Jesus College, where he was educated. He, it is said, 
was the first of the family that was brought up at an 
English University. I cannot however help thinking 


that this is a mistake, arising from the error of common 

Thomas, the second son, was LieutcnaDt-Colonel io 
his brother's regiment, and died childless; — 8d, Joha, 
was a Captain in the expedition sent by Charles the 
First against the Isle of Rhe, in France, and fell there ; 
— 4th, Esmond, died a young man at Oxford ; — 5th, 
Sir Harry, created a Knight, for his fidelity, by Charles 
the First, was Captain of one of the King's ships ; but 
after the Parliament obtained possession of the navy, he 
gave up his ship ; and returned to Pembroke Castle, at that 
time in the hands of the Royalists; and when Cromwell's 
party took the Castle from Poyer and Lagharne, he was 
driven from his native country to Ireland, where he died, 
in the city of Cork ; and was buried there, in the Church 
of the Holy Trinity ; — 6th, Francis, was a Captain of 
Infantry, in Ireland, and died there before the civil war 
broke out ; — 7th, Donat, died, a young man, in London ; 
— 8th, George, Doctor of Divinity, and Dean of 
Chichester, had many children; — 9th, Jane, married 
William Thomas, Esq., of Wenvoe; — 10th, Elizabeth, 

married Jennings, Esq., of Essex. This Sir 

Edward, the eldest son of Sir John, had nine children. 
XX. Sir Edward Stradling, Knight, eldest son of tlto above, 
whom Charles the First created a Knight, married 
Catharine, daughter of Sir Hugh Perry, Alderman, of 
I>ndon. After his death, she married Bussey IVlansel, 
Esq., of Briton Ferry. This Sir Edward, also, led a 


body of Foot to Newburj, in support of Cbarlos the 
First. When the Ring lost the day, be returned to 
Oxford, where be died, before bis Father; but his body 
was broujifht to St. Donats, to be buried with his ances- 
tors. The second son, John, Major-General under 
Charles the First, was at the battle of St. Fagans (May 
8, 1648); taken prisoner, and conveyed to Windsor 
Castle; where he died;— 3d, Sir Thomas Stradling, 
who was Colonel of Infantry, in the reign of Charles the 
Second, and was appointed a Captain in the Guards, by 
James the Second. He died at Merthjrr Mawr ; — 4tb, 
Mansel Stradling, Esq., who married ' ;~6th, 

Jane, who married Thomas Came, Esq., of Nash ; — 6th, 
Dorothy, who married Harry Hill, Esq., of East Orchard, 
St. Athan ;'*7th, Joan, who married David Mathews, 
of Llandaff, Esq. ;— 8tb, Anne;— 9tb, Elizabeth, who 
married Edward Turberville, Esq., of Sutton; after 
whose death, she married Lewis Thomas, Esq., brother 
of Sir Robert Thomas, Baronet, of Llanmihangel. This 
Sir Edward had three children : 
XXI. First, Sir Edward Stradling, Baronet, who married Eliza- 
beth, daughter of William Hungerford, Esq., of Farley 
Castle, Somersetshire; — 2d, Catharine, who married Sir 
William Waller, Knight;— 8d, Jane, who married 
George Bowen, Esq., of Kettle-Hill, in Gower. This 
(last named) Sir Eklward Stradling had six children ; 
namely t-lst, William, the eldest, who died a child ; — 
8d, Edward, who inherited the estate and honours; — 


9d, llungerfofd, who died at Cowbridge aobool ;— 4Ui, 
Raduiol, who died a duld ; — 5Ui, Edmood, who died a 
child;— 6tb, Thomas, who died at tea, io one of King 
William*! ibips. 
XXII. Sir Edward Stradliog, Barooet, aeoood soo of the last Sir 
Edwaid, and heir to the estate aod honours, married 
Elisabeth, daughter of Sir Edward Mansel, of Margam, 
Baronet; and had two sons: — 1st, Edward Stradling, 
Esq., bom Mardi 8, 1609, aod died Oct 8, 1796 ;— 9d, 
Thomas Stradling, Esq. bom July 24, 1710; in which 
year, his Father was Higb-SheriiF of Glamorganshire, 
and was, also, elected Member of Parliament for Cardiif, 
for which place he had been Member before ; bnt in the 
year 1789, he resigned his seat; and his soo, Edward 
Stradling, Esq., was elected in his stead ; aod continaed 
a Member to his death. 

It is remarkable that no Esquire of the family in* 
herited the estate but one, — ^Thomas Stradling, whose 
great grandson. Sir John Stradling, was the first Baronet 
among them, and the fifth, as you have already heard, 
that was raised to that order; according to the following 
list :— 

1. Sir Nicholas Bacon. 

9. Sir Mounbaux. 

8. Sir Thomas Mansbu 

4. Sir — Shirley. 

5. Sir John Stradling. 

Saint Athan, Nov. 23, 1826. 


The following conclusion of the Pedigree is extracted from a 
roll, under the head of '^ Descent of the Stradungs ;*' kindly 
arranged, and written out for me, by J. Johnson, Esq., Surgeon, 
now of Cowbridge, who, although neither a native of Wales, nor, 
1 believe, descended from Welsh parentage, has acquired a greater 
knowledge of the Antiquities and Genealogies of Glamorgan, 
than, with rather limited exceptions, its resident families : — 

XXIII. Sir Thomas Stradling (second son of the last Sir Edward) 
died at Montpellier, in France, Sep. 97i 1788; and was 
buried at St. Donats, the 19th of March following. Tbe 
estates were settled, by Act of Parliament, as follows : 
St. Donats and Sully fell to Sir John de la Fontaine 
Tyrwhit ; Merthyr Mawr and Monknash to Hugh Bowcn, 
Gent.; Penlline, Llamphey, and Cwm Hawey, in 
Somersetshire, to Bussey Mansel, Esq., by virtue of a 
will made by Sir Thomas ; and St. Athan was sold to 
pay the lawyers. 

Mr. Gamage*s Memoirs differ, in several places, from the ac- 
counts given by Sir Edward Stradling, (the l7th in descent) and 
others, of this ancient family. In some instances his deviations 
appear to have been correctly based; in other cases, he may 
possibly, have been led into some degree of error. But such 
discrepancies will be again successively considered, in a compara- 


tive view of tbo Genealogies here consulted. The great superi- 
ority of his account is, that it embraces several bistorical and 
biographical features of importance, that have not been recorded 
by others ; consequently the extract introduced, has undergone no 
compression. His style is strongly idiomatic, a peculiarity that 
may, perhaps, be occasionally noticed in the translation. 


** A circle raised for holy rite 

In face of day and eye of ligW* — p. 1 1. 
That the British Druids exercised considerable influence, civil, 
as well as retigtous, in their country, has not been disputed ; that 
their uncontaminated principles were essentially pacific, has also 
been truly asserted by the historians of various nations, and that 
they acknowledged One Supreme Being, and believed in a future 
state, are points that have been declared, even by Roman writers ; 
who, notwithstanding, have, inconsistently enough, accused them 
of a considerable portion of the incongruous polytheism main- 
tained by their own nation ; and of abhorrent rites that appertained 
also, in truth, to themselves. But the testimonies of the Romans 
against the Druids are deemed quite oracular by persons who would 
depreciate the tenets of those ancient ministers of worship. 
Pagan authors are quoted with a degree of implicit credit, little 

short of that bestowed on Holy Writ, in confirmation of opinions 



m^jostly attributed to them, from long prejudice: but^ when tbe 
▼erj same authorities are advanced against Ctiristianity, their 
evidence is discarded at once, and altogether. That the Romans 
calumniated the benign precepts of the Gospel, and pursued its 
Professors, with the hand of desolation, is well known ; and the 
sufferings thus inflicted never fail to excite feelings of intense 
sympathy and regret. He, however, who, having closely examined 
ancient British documents, together with other concurrent evi- 
dences, may have the courage to exhibit the Druids in their real 
character, is, too frequently, considered a disbeliever in Revela- 
tion, and an adherent to exploded error. A dispassionate exami- 
nation of the real case, however, would, 1 am persuaded, qualify 
the objections of sincere minds. 

That the principles of Druidism, in numerous instances, are 
comparatively inefficient, when confronted with Christian purity, 
will be at once readily conceded : but does it thence follow, that 
all the attrocitics attributed to the Druids must necessarUy be 
declared undeniable. The theologies and superstitions of nations, 
generally are to be traced out in the works of their own authors, 
where such exist; and the repugnant maxims, asserted to have 
been disseminated by tbe Druids, would, also, be discovered in 
our ancient British authors, had they ever been maintained. That 
they do not appear is, then, a cogent proof that they never existed. 
The Cynfeirdd, (Primitive Bards) in a few instances, and several 
classes of ancient triads, still extant, present numerous cases of 
irrational credulity, and strong superstition, prevalent among the 
early Britons ; but they are quite destitute of the opinions and 
fallacies charged to them by Anti-Cimbric authorities. When 


the Hebrews, at dififerent periods, succeeded in suppressing various 
idolatries, that had successively increased among them, the objeo- 
tionable places of worship were demolished with unsparing tiands: 
Nay, even in this country, at an era of considerable knowledge, 
when Popish opinions were repudiated, and the Protestant creed 
established; zeal ran into such wild fanaticism, tliat the fine 
altars, splendid crosses, and imposing decorations of our Churches 
were sadly demolished and effaced. But did a similar manifesta- 
tion occur against the Druids and thehr worship at the introduc- 
tion of the Gospel 7 Facts shall reply :— The first Christian 
Clmrches, in this kingdom, were founded either on the sites of 
Druidio Temples, (Uannau ;— and the ancient term **Llann** is pre- 
fixed to such,) or contiguous to them. Llanilid and Llangewydd, 
in Glamorganshire, among many others, are corroborative in* 
stances. At Llanilid the old Druidic Oratory (Gwyddfa), still 
remains, nearly perfect ; reverently spared by Papist and Protes- 
tant The Church that once stood at Llangewydd, was founded 
about the year 500 ; but removed, as Caradoc informs us, in 1111, 
by one Lalys, to a place since called, from his name, Lalyston. 
Not a vestige of the old Church at Llangewydd remains, except 
that the boundaries of the church-yard, appearing higher than 
the rest of the field, (still called, Cae'r Hen Eglwys), may be 
traced, and that bones are occasionally turned up ; but two large 
stones, apparently the remains of a Cromlech, jpnor to Ctiristianity, 
yet stand there. May we not conclude from these, and similar 
circumstances, that the Druidic Theology was deemed a desirable 
and consistent basis for the glorious superstructure of Christianity. 
The question, then, that imperatively arises, is— would our primi- 


live places of Gbristiao worship have beeo so zealoody attached 
to the Altars of Dmidism ; had the precepU of the latter beeo 
so diametrically opposed, as stated by many authors, to the prin- 
ciples of the former ? The reply is obTious. 

When the Romans invaded Britain, they were in the fiill pride 
of almost unlimited dominion ; and, certainly then, unequalled 
in Literature. They designated all other nations as Bartiariaiisi 
and, in their self-complaoent superiority, they would not dream of 
conceding to any other people a degree of attainment that might, 
in the extremest distance, be favourably compared with their own. 
But, '* Great is the TnuTH, and it will prevail f* despite of all 
unworthy exertions: While in one place they represent the 
aboriginal Britons as wild, painted savages of tlie wood, imme- 
diately they describe their war-chariots in terms that would almost 
confer credit on modern mechanism. They likewise truly assert 
that the use of letters was known to the Dnuds. These, surely, are 
conflicting accounts ; still they are, altogether ^ implicitly relied on. 
Had the Romans, having first acquired a correct knowledge of 
Dmidism, delineated it in its real features, the wretched absurdities 
of their own Theology must immediately have shrivelled into 
nonentity before its superior purity. The horrid observances which 
they attribute to the Druids, such as divination from entrails, &c. 
appertained, in fact, to their own rites. " What can we reason 
but from what we know." 

The following particulars, relating to Bardic Institutes, ex- 
tracted from Edward Williams^s manuscript *' History of the 
Bards,** may in many instances seem to correspond closely with 
Mr. Owen's (afterwards Dr. Owen Pughe) Preface to his English 



translation of ** Llywarch Ren^s Heroic Elegies ;*' but, to rescue 
my Father^s name from any unjust accusation of plagiarism, I 
must here, in duty, observe that he communicated to Mr. Owen 
all the information appertaining to Bardism, contained in that 
interesting Preface. To whatever extent I may differ from Dr. 
Pughe respecting the rules of orthography, and other principles of 
the Welsh Language, I am anxious to present here, my tribute 
of sincere regard to his memory, for bis strenuous exertions, 
from early life to old age, in the cause of ancient • British Lite- 

"The Institution of the Bards originated in Britain ; hence they 
are emphatically called Beibdd Ynts Prtdain. They were 
primarily a Priesthood; nor have they, even yet, relinquished 
that character ; although they now only exercise Bardic rites and 
duties. They had among them the following orders : — 

Firstly, — Awenyddion; ffcondZy,— Bardd Trwyddedog, Bardd 
Braint, or simply Bardd ; thirdly, — Derwyddfardd, or simply 
Derwydd ; /ottrf%,— Ofyddfardd, or Ofydd. The three first were 
ealled the Regular Orders ; the fourth was an honorary one. 

AwENTDDioN wcro tliose who, appearing to have a genius for 
poetry, and other branches of knowledge, were admitted as dis- 
ciples. They were obliged to pass through a tedious probation, 
and to sustain unimpeached morals. During progression, they 
were taught the rudiments of the Welsh Language, the laws of 
verse, and the principles of the Bardic Institution. They exer- 
cised themselves in the composition of Poems, acquired others by 

heart; and were finally initiated into the mysteries of Religion 



and Philosophy. Having acquired a proper Icoowledge of these 
things, they were admitted to the graduated order of— 

Bardd Braint, Bardd Trwyddbdoo, or Trwtddbdoo 
Braint; (le. Privileged Bard, Gradoated Bard, or Privileged 
Graduate), they were deemed, now, capable of being employed as 
teachers of youth; of admitting disciples, and of coofenring the 
honorary degree of Ofydd on those that were possessed of the 
requisite qualifications. They were not permitted to bear arms ; 
passed in safety from one country to another ; and, when in their 
Bardic robes, wliich had the effect of flags of truce, they appeared 
between contending armies, hostilities were instantly discontinued. 
Of a Bard it was said—** gair ei air ef ar bawb*' (his word was 
paramount over every other testimony). The robes of the B§rd 
were slsy blue, emblematic of Celestial Peace and Amity ; and 
unicoloured, as a symbol of Truth. If called upon to officiate as 
Prif-fardd, (Chief, or acting Bard) who had a temporary supremacy 
over all others, of whatever order, he was entitled to assume the 
order of— 

Dbrwyi>d, or DBRVfTDDFARDD, (1.0. Druld^ or Druid-Bard,) 
and wore an unicoloured white robe : whiter as emblematic of 
Wisdom and Sanctity; and unkdUmred^ as of Truth. In this 
capacity, however, he was not vested with any superior, or even 
new power; but was considered the immediate and most appro- 
priate Minister of Religion ; though not exclusively so; fur the 
other orders were qualified to officiate in Religious matters. When 
chosen Prif-fardd (i.e. Arch Bard, or, as some write it, Arch- 
Druid,) he laid aside the white, and resumed the shy^blue robe, 


which be always wore, whcnSbc presided at a Oorsedd, or Supreme 

The OvYOD-FARDD, or simply Ofydd, was an honorary degree, 
or order. He could be admitted arbitrarily, by a Bardd Braint, on 
his own Icnowlcdge of the candidate ; or on the recommendation 
of a Judge, and other competent authorities. The colour of the 
Ofydd was^en; emblematic of advancing knowledge; and the 
vigorous ardour of young aspirants. 

The Bards and Druids, (terms that are synonymous, except from 
peculiar circumstances, rather than actual distinctions) always 
held their meetings, or Oorseddau, in the open air, at conspicuous 
places, while the sun was above the horizon, that the rites and 
solemnities to be observed might take place ** IN THE FACE 

The place was set apart, by forming a circle of stones, with a 
large stone in the centre ; either beside, or on, which stood the 
presiding Bard. This circle was termed Cylch t Ctngraib, or 
Conventional Circle; the stones that formed it were called, 
Mbini GwTNNiojf, or>Hoiy Stones; the central stone was named 
Maen Gorsedd, Presidial Stone ; Mabn llog. Stone of Remu- 
neration; and Crair Gorsedd, the Altar of Congress. 

The regular periods for holding a Gorsedd, are the two Solstices, 
and the two Equinoxes ; although subordinate meetings might 
be held on every new and ibll moon ; and, also, at the quarter 
days. Regular meetings are summoned by Proclamation ; which 
announces a period of a year and a day that must intervene before 
the Gorsedd can be held. Present and absent Bards, the living 
and the dead, are included in the announced attendance." 


The ttrae priBilive Budi of the Undof 
Aii4W!r, and Gwmr, arededaRd to be futat at every 0«nedd. 
Thej are tfaos recorded in the TriHia of the Iilaiidor Britaia:— 

*« The three priMval Baidi of the bbMl of Britam, PlB9DiT», 
AL4W!f , and Gwaoei. TheK we the three fnt nveaten of the 
rights and usasea of the Basm^ aod of Babmbi; Corwhoa^ and 
which, there had not pfcrioaify bee« asf kfallj ertabCibed aji- 
ten of wwtenancp, i«innnitifa» and mages: Per this reaaoo 
those are called the three prineval BardiL However, Bards aad 
BaidJSM had exirted before their tines; but tfaej were not sup- 
ported by aoy legally e iti bl ishif d sjsteaB, nor by aaj other means 
proTided for, than those of courtesy and ctvOity ; and the patron- 
age of the country and nation previous to the time of those 
three. Some my that it was in the time of Plrydain, the son of 
Aedd, the Great, they lived; aooording to others, it was in the 
time of Dyfnwal Meelmod, his son ; wbo^ in some of the old 
books, is called Dyfofarth ap Prydain.'*— Triad da (Copied, as 
well as others of the same class here given, from Edward 
Williams*8 translation.) 

These Mythological characters are frequently mentioned by the 
Bards, and in various classes of TViads. Their periods of exist- 
ence, and their parentage, are seldom or never recorded alike in any 
two instances of the numerous notices we find of them. In many 
cases, they are mentioned as persons of unknown date, in other 
instances, tbey are stated to have lived in the reigns of certain 
Rulers of very distant periods. Upon mature reflection, however, 

am strongly disposed to view them in no other light than as 
personifications of the three requisites of Poetic Genus: namely. 


— Ao Etb that can see Nature,— a Hbabt that can feel Natmey— 
and a Rbsolutiox that dares follow Nature. 

Plenntdd (Irradiator) is a name that seens to be nearly syno* 
nymous with Ysplennydd (brilliant), and hence, etymologically 
symbolic of Visaal Perception, or '* The Eye that can see Nature.** 
Alawit, apparently formed from Uawn (full) and the aogmenta- 
tive prefix Jy may be fairly conceited to represent Plenary 
Animation, a principle essentially requisite to that faigfa ardour 
which capacitates the " Heart fully to feel Nature :*'— -and Gwroo 
(literally—Hero) in conclusion, personifies *' the RuoumoM that 
dares follow Nature." 


Clot Merddin^t pdriareial chief' 

Eoeu Hu the mighty tfoiriotformr'^, IL 

The following eztraeU from the Triads of the Islattl of Britain, 
convey adequate explanations : — 

" Three names were primeraHy gireo to the Islaad of Britaio. 
Before it was inhabited it was called Clas MMmrnmn ; (Muufirt 
land) after it became inhabited, it was eaJled Y Fei. Ytrri; (the 
Isle of Hooey) aafl alter it had been sdbjisgiled to Refolar 
Ooremment, by PBrnai v, son of Ab»» the €heaif U wu eialled 
Che Island of Pkydain ; (Britahi) and t* it som but the flttlo0 of 
Cymary hare aoy just dalm; fer Is was i»t eoloolsed by the«i ; 
tar^betare thai time. It was not Inhabited by men, but aboanded 
with bears, wolves, beavers, and honeh^Mcked oxen HlmfiUoes, 
ee bisons; posmbly the CTn of Csbmt.)-^ Triad hj 

''The three pUlars of National Camp$U of the bland of 
Bntain :->nrst, Hv the Mighty, who ongMafly conducted the 


Cjmarj tmtiaa iolo the Islaad of BriUia : sad it was firoM the 
eoootry of SoniBMr, ocberwife called DeiinolMni, wlKie now 
CoostaotiiiopleiSyttiejcaaie; over the Haiy 8ca (On ■■!! deem), 
into the IsUnd of Briuio, and to Uydaw, (LeUvia, or Bm 
BreUgne). The tecood was Pbtsacv^ toa of Akss the Graat, 
who first ioslitoted OoTemnMot and Naliooal Coapaet la the 
Island of Britaia; before which time there was no r^nlar order, 
except what might take place from coorteous geotlcoeas; nor 
Moj law, bat that of soperior force. The third was DrFsnf ai. 
MoEUCOB, who first reduced to order the Laws and Ordinances, 
the Rights and Immunities, of the natioo and eoontiy. For 
these reasons thej were called the Three Pillars of the Natioo of 
Cymmry."— (Triad 4.) 

** The three Pacific Colonies of the Island of Britain: thefirst 
were the Cjmmry, who came with Ho the Biightj, into the 
Island of Britain ; for he did not desire to possess a coontry 
through force and violence; bat in peace and according to 
iastice.''--(Tn«f 5.) 

The other two Padik Colonies were the Lloegrwys (Ligorians) 
who came from Gascony, and the Brython frbm Llydaw (Letavia). 
'* The three force-resisting defenders of the Island of Britain : 
Hu the Mighty, who conducted the nation of Ctmmrt into the 
Island of Britain, from Summerland, (Gwlad yr Hai) otherwise 
called Deffrobani ; Prtdain, son of Aedd the Great, who insti- 
tuted Goyemment and Patriarchal Jurisdiction, in the Island of 
Britain ; and Rhitta the Giant, who made for himself a large 
robe of the beards of those Kings who were by him degraded to 
vassalage, for their tyranmes and depredatioos."— (TricKf 54.) 


"The three establishers of the Gymmry Nation : First, Hu the 
Mighty, who, whilst they were yet in the Summer country, where 
Constantinople now stands, first taught the best method of culti- 
vating the ground to the nation of the Cymmry : this was before 
they came into the Island of Britain :— secondly, Coll, son of 
CoLLVREWi, who first introduced wheat and barley into the Island 
of Britain, where, before, there were only oats and rye: — and 
thirdly, Illttd (Iltutus), the Equestrian, (Knight and Saint of 
the College of Theodosius), who improved the arts of agriculture ; 
and taught the Cymmry a better way of ploughing than they had 
before known ; giving them the method now practised. Before 
the time of lUtyd the ground was ploughed only with a mattock 
and tread-plough, in the same manner as still practised by the 
Irish:'— (Triad 66.) 

** The three primary Civilizers of the Nation of Cymmry: 
First, Hu the Mighty, who first instituted the systems of the 
caravan, and of social compact, amongst the Cymmry. — Secondly, 
Dtfmwal Moelmud (Dunwallo Maelmutius), who first established 
a regular System of Laws, and of the Rights and Usages of the 
country and nation. — ^Thirdly, Ttdain, Father of Poetical Genius ; 
who first systematized the principles of Memory and Record 
appertaining to the Art of Poetry (literally, of Vocal Song) and 
its relatives : and from bis system originated the invention of the 
Regulations, Immunities and Customs of the Bards and Bardism 
of the Island of Britain.''— (rrtod 57.) 

In Triad 02, Hu is associated with Gwyddon Ganhebon (Gwy- 
ddon of Song utterances) and Tydain, Father of Poetic Genius, 
as the three analyzers of Song and Intellectuality. 


It is, thus, in several Triads, asserted that Hu condoetod the 
Cymmry from **tbe Country of Sammer, oUierwise called Deifiro- 
tmni, where now Constantinople stands*' into Britain. The nearest 
name that I can find to Dtrffrobani is Taprobane (Ceylon) ; bat 
Constantinople and that Island are situated so distantly from each 
other, that the identity of the latter plaee with the former can m 
no wise be sustained. It italoiost oonclusive, by inferences drawn 
from ancient history, that the Cymmry were originally an Eastern 
nation ; and Asia Minor has, by many writers, been mentioned a» 
the country they possessed. Taliesin, Chief of the Bards, Is, by 
lorwcrth Fynglwyd, in his impressive Elegy to the memoiy 
of Lis preceptor, the gifted Llawdden, called^- 

'* Taliesin teula Asia.** 
Taliesin of the household of Asia. 

In triad 57, Hu the Mighty is named as the first that established 
the system of the Caravan, and of Social Compact. There is a 
series of very ancient triads, called *^ Trioedd y Cludau** (Triads 
of Carrying Vehicles, or Caravans). These triads are said, by 
several old British authorities, to have formed the basis of 
Dyfnwal Moelmud*8 Jurisprudential Triads, upon which the laws 
of Howell the Good are expressly said again to have been formed. 
The caravan system, attributed to Hu, was possibly the origin of 
Trioedd y Cludau; which describe modes of existence that 
belonged to very remote ages. These courses of triads are included , 
with many others, in the Myv» Arch,^ vol. 8. They were copied 
by Edward Williams, from manuscripts written by Thomas ab 
levan, of Tre-Bryu ; who transcribed them from the old books of 
Sir Edward Mansel, of Margam, in 1685; books that were 


probably collected by the Sir Edward Mausel .noticed in the 
'* Explanatory Remarks.** 

At the condasion of a short Preface to his collection of Triads, 
Thomas ab levan, whose memory should be revered by ewerj 
Welsh antiquary, thus characteristically observes ;— addressing 
his reader, — 

** Heaven to the souls of the good Old Men who formerly pre- 
served in memory, and on record, these things: but if it was 
through such conduct they attained Heaven, I greatly fear that 
they never will see many of their descendants in the place where 
they arc. Mayest thou be vigorous, healthy, and wise. Ood be 
with theel — and his Heaven to thy soul I" 

No mythological character is more frequently noticed by the 
Poets than Hu Oadarn; and the terms in which they generally 
allude to him are so very mysterious, that he cannot, in many 
instances, be viewed in any other light, than as a super-human 
being. Indeed his names, II u and Huon, are appollationi nppliod 
to the Almighty, when His attribute of Suprenu Energy is intro- 
duced. The Druids called the Sun Huan, as tho iublimeit 
emblem of the Ood of Light and Life; the only Dolty thoy, In 
retUitT/, acknowledged and wonhipod. 

Plennydd is by some called the son of Hi;. 

'* Mae Plbuntdd, mab Hu LAwnwaith V* 
" Where is Plennydd, the son of Hu of ezuberAnt opttTAtfon f * 

says Archdeacon Edmund Pryi, in bli pootlcAl controvany with 
William Cynwat. But this ezpraMlon only iuppltoi an Additional 


argameDt for my opinion, already advanced, respecting the ** Thraer 
primitive Bards.** 

Hu Gadarn, Por hojw giwdawd ; 
Brenin a roi*r gwin a> gwawd : 
Amberawdr tir a moroedd ; 
A bjTwydd oU Vr byd oedd. 

Hu the Mighty, Sustainer of an active nation ; 
A King, who bestowed wine and praise : 
The Emperor of land and seas; 
Who was entire life to the world. 

lolo Goch (Circ. arm, UOOJ 
in his Poem to the Husbandman. 

Bid gan Hu Oadarn amynt 

Ei gerdd o Nef ; — Oyrddion ynt. 

Gwilym Tew 
i blant Emwnt Malffawnt. 

May Hu the Mighty impart to them 

His song from Heaven, for powerful are they. 

Gwilyn Tew (about iUOj 
to the children of Edmund Malephant, 

These, out of innumerable instances, shall suflBicc. 

*' Stem Bhitta Gawr's majestic mien, — p. 1 1. 
'' Is there anything where it may be said,— See this is new 1 
It hath been already of old times. — There is no new thing under 
the sun,** — said the wise King of Israel ; nor can we gainsay the 
assertion. Burke and other incarnate fiends have, in our own 
immediate days, quenched the lives of many unsuspicious wretches, 
by a species of inventive infemality that was inconsiderately 
deemed quite novel ; but the Royal Benhadad of old was simi- 
larly burlced by iniquitous Hazael. Our modern Ultra-Radicals 
have been hastily deemed the offsprings of our present age ; but 
here step forth Rhitta Gawr and his confederates, of unknown 


antiquity, to extinguish their claim to originality : and it must, 
at once, be confessed that the Boyal Radical establishes, most 
indisputably, a prior right to the designation. 


(Translated from the Welsh,) 
" There were two Kings, formerly in Britain, named Nynniaw 
and Peibiaw. As these two ranged the fields, one star-light night, 
— * See,' said Nynniaw, * what a beautiful, and extensive field I 
possess!* * Where is it?' said Peibiaw; * the whole Firmament,* 
said Nynniaw, * far as vision can extend.* ' And do thou see,* 
said Peibiaw, *what countless herds and flocks of cattle and 
sheep I have depasturing thy field.' * Where are they V said 
Nynniaw ; * why the whole host of stars which thou seest,* said 
Peibiaw ; ' and each of golden effulgence ; with the Moon for their 
shepherdess, to superintend their wanderings.* * They shall not 
graze in my pasture,' said Nynniaw ; — * They shaU,^ said Peibiaw ; 
* They shall not^ said one ; — ' They «Aa22,' said the other, repeatedly, 
in bandied contradiction ; until, at last, it arose to wild contention 
between them: — and from contention it came to furious war; 
until the armies and subjects of both were nearly annihilated in 
the desolation. Rhitta the Giant, King of Wales, hearing of the 
carnage committed by these two maniac Kings, determined on 
hostility against them ; and, having previously consulted the laws 
and his people, he arose and marched against them, because they 
had, as stated, followed the courses of depopulation and devasta- 
tion, under the suggestions of phrenzy. He vanquished them, and 
then cut off their beards. But, when the other Sovereigns, 


indodedintiietweatj-eiglitRiiigior tbeUaodof Britain, bewd 
tbeie tfaiogi, tbej oombined all tbeir le^iooi to revenge the desn- 
datioD committed oo tbe two disbearded Kings ; and made a fierce 
oofet oo Rlutta tbe Giaot and bis forces;— and furiooslj bold was 
tbe engagemeot Bot Rhitta tbe Giant won tbe day.--* This is 
myextensiTe field,* said be, tben,— and immcdiate^j disbearded 
tbe otber Kings.— Wbeo tbe Kings of tbe surrounding ooantries 
beard of tbe disgrace inflieted oo all tbese disbearded Kings, thej 
armed tbemselTes against Rbitta tbe Giant and bis men; and 
tremendoos was tbe conflict ; but Rbitta tbe Giant achieved a 
most decisive victory, and tben exclaimed : * This is mr immense 
field r— and at once tbe Kings were disbearded by bim and his 
men. Tben pointing Co tbo irrational Monarchs, ' these,^ said he, 
'are tbe animals tiiat grazed my field;— bat I have driven them 
oat : they?sba11 no longer depasture there.* After that, be took 
up all tbe beards, and made oat of tbem a mantle for himself, that 
extended from head to heel ; — and Rhitta was twice as large as 
any other person ever seen." 

It is a fcataro strongly in favoar of the antiquity of Welsh 
Literatuie, that most of the prominent characters found in old 
English and French Romances and Ballads, are borrowed from it 
Even tbe seats of Government, under British Princes, previous to 
tbe Saxion dominion, such as Carlisle, Caerlleon, &c., are selected 
as scenes of action.— King Arthur, Queen Guenever (Owenhwy- 
far). Sir Kay (Cai hir), Glaskerion (Glas-Geraint), or, Ceraint 
fardd Glas, or Gadair (Ceraint the Blue Bard of tbe Chair), 
Mordred (Medrod), and many others, figure in frequent recurrence, 
in those compositions. Even redoubtable Rhitta Gawr has been 


pressed into English service. In the third volume of Percey^s 
** Reliques of Ancient English Poetry,*^ page 25, a song appears, 
called " King Ryence's Challenge.'' 
The following is entirely extracted from that volume : — 


This is more modem than many of those which follow it, but is 
placed here for the sake of the subject. It was sung before Queen 
Elizabeth, at the grand entertainment at Kenil worth Castle, in 
1575 ; and was, probably, composed for the occasion. In a letter, 
describing those festivities, it is thus mentioned : — ** A Minstrell 
came forth with a sollem song, warranted for story out of K. 
Arthur's Acts, whereof I gat a copy, and is this : — 
" So it fell out on a Pentecost, ftc." 

After the song, the narrative proceeds : — " At this the Minstrell 
made a pause, and a curtezy for Primus Passus. More of the 
song is thear, but I gatt it not." 

The story in Morte Arthur, whence it is taken, runs as follows : — 
'*Came a messenger hastily from King Ryence, of North Wales, 
saying, that King Ryence had discomfited and overcome eleven 
Kings, and everiche of them did him homage, and that was this : 
they gave him their beards cleane flayne off. Wherefore the 
messenger came for King Arthur's beard ; for King Ryence had 
purfeled a mantell with Kings beards, and there lacked for one a 
place of the mantell, wherefore he sent for his beard, or else he 
would enter into his lands, and brenn and slay, and never leave till 
he have thy head and thy beard. Well,'said< Arthur, thou hast 
said thy message, which is the most villainous and lewdest message 


that ever man heard sent to a King. Also thou mayest see mj 
beard is full yoong yet for to make a purfell of, bat tell thou the 
King that — or it be long he shall do me homage on both his 
knees, or else be shall leese his head.'* 

The Welsh Legend conveys a just reflection on the turbulence 
^f AMBTnous Might, that has so frequently, in all ages, involved 
^countries and nations in misery, and utter devastation, from pre- 
texts that appertained merely to personal vanity, caprice, revenge, 
or inordinate ambition, rather than to the least advantage intended 
for mankind: but the English version of it is a mere tissue of 
incongruity ; displaying Ryence in the position of the turbulent' 
Kings whom Rhitta had reduced to order. 

Number 60, of the Triads of the Island of Britain, may here be 
appropriately introduced : 

^* The three foolish battles of the Island of Britain: the battle 
of GoddeUy on account of a bUch, a roCy and a lapwings and in it 
seveniy-one thousand men were killed ; — the battle of Arderydd^ 
a lark's nest was the cause, in which eighty thousand of the nation 
of Gymmry were slain;— and the battle of Cafrdan^ between 
Arthur and Medrod, wherein Arthur was killed, and with him a 
hundred thousand men, &c'* 

The old Ballad of " The Boy and the Mantle," the first poem in 
the same volume of the Reliques, lA based on Welsh romance. Of 
this composition the learned compiler of that work says : — '* The 
incidents of * The Mantle and the Knife' have not, that I can 
recollect, been borrowed from any other writer." He knew 
nothing, probably, of the Welsh language, or its literature. 


A transcript id my possession, enumerates the *' Thirteen 
Treasures of the Island of Britain :" amongst them, No. 4, is the 
following:-— *' Man tell Tegau Eurfron a guddiai wraig ddiwair, 
ag nis gwnaiV anniwair, ag a guddiai eirwir, ag nis gwnaiV 

**The Mantle of Tegau Eurfron (Beauty of the golden breast) 
that covered a chaste wife, but would not an unchaste one; that 
would cover a truth-teller, but not a liar.'' 

I find the following extract among my Father's papers. It 
seems, by the subjoined query, that he had not seen any similar 
passage before. 

" Ex loose papers — Place Gwynn. 
A tbaraw o Rhitta Oawr y llawr a'i droed yny chrynai'r ddaear ; 
yny chrynai wybrenoedd, yny chrynai'r ser, ynyd aethy cryndrwy'r 
holl fydoedd hyd eithafoedd annwn." 

JS. Evans, Ex, V, Hengwrt, 
Qtwry,— From what work in MSS ?— (E. W.) 
Then Rhitta Gawr struck the ground with his foot, till ther 
earth trembled ! till the skies trembled ! till the stars trembled I 
till the tremor ran through all the worlds unto the uttermost 
depths.— fTranf. by Ed, WiUiams,) 

But, because these Mythologies and Superstitions prevailed 
apoong the Ancients Britains, does it follow that the Personages or 
Beings thus mysteriously mentioned, were worshiped by them, or, 
indeed, that they even constituted a part of Druidic Mythology. 
As well, then, may it be said, that English, Scottish, Irish, and 
Welsh Superstitions are included in the religious creeds of those 
nations ; or that the Flying Dutchman is adored, from fear or love, 
by sailors. 


** The champions of Delusion,^— p. 19. 
"The three Actors of Delasioo and Phantasm, of the Island of 
Britain:— Math ab Mathonwy; and he taught bis Delusion to 
OwTDioN, the son of Don ;— Menyw, the son of the Three Shouts 
(or Loud Utterances), who taught his Delusion to Uthyr Pen- 
DHAGON (Uthyr of the dragon head);— and Rhuddlwm the 
Giant, who was taught his Delusion by Eiddilic, the Dwarf, and 
Coll (Perdition), the son of Collfrewi."— (^norf 90.) 


Mysterious Mai\ ^c.**— p. 19. 

** Whatever the arts of Math ap Mathonwy were, they were 
termed deceptions, or delusions; and phantoms, or sham repre- 
sentations. As such, they were abhorrent to the eyes of the 
Bards; and obviously not practised by them. But a good con- 
jecture, on warrantable authorities, may be offered respecting 
those delusions and phantoms. It is probable that they were 
Dramatic Representations, rather in imitation of the Roman 
Dramas, that must have been familiar to the Britons. We are 
told by Caradoc, of Llancarvan, {Myv, Arch. vol. 2, page 658) that 
Gruffyddab Rhys held a splendid feast at Dinevor Castle, in 1135. 
At this grand festival, which lasted forty days, he says, that all 
the plays of Delusion and Phantom were performed, for the enter- 
tainment of the guests. 

"In many manuscript tracts on Musicians and Minstrels, or 
Reciters,' Chware,£rt«i a LtedrUK {PXaying Delusion and Phantom) 
is expressly said to be the same thing as Anterluwf (Interludes). 
--(Ettraetedfrom Edward JViUiams''8 papers.) 



Menyw, the marvel of his age. 

Who oum^d no earthly parentage,^'* — p. 13. 

Mbnyw, son of the Three Loud Utterances has been already 

There were three persons, or rather Beings (for in most instances 
super- human attributes are imputed to them) that were named 
Menyw. The following triad (translated from the Triads of the 
Genii) enumerates them : — 

** The three Genii of Agricultural ColonizatiJh of the Island of 
Britain; — Menyw, the son of Merddin Glas (Sea-girt Island), 
called Menyw, son of the Three Shouts;— Menyw the Old, called 
also Menyw the long, of North Wales; and Menyw, son of 
Menwaed, from Arfon, who enforced the Arts on the Irish (or the 
term Qwyddtfi will also imply woodmen) of Augleseaaud Arfon, 
in the time of Gwrgan, of the thick beard^ King of the Island of 
Britain, Ireland, and the Island of Orkney.'' 

These three are, however, frequently confounded one with 
the^other. The Orkneys, in one of the triads, are said originally 
to have formed but one Island, but that an immense convulsion 
reduced them to their present disconnected appearance. The 
above triad alludes to the primary state. 

Uthyr Bendragon (literally. Wonder of the Dragon-head) was 
the eighty-fifth King of Britain, and reignect from the year 500 

to 517. 

Mr. Owen (Dr. W. O. Pughe) in his Cambrian Biography 
(p. S40) says: — '*The appellation Uthyr, or Wonder, was cer- 
tainly an adopted one to create an enthusiasm for the emergency 


of the time; but the real name of this hero probably was Meirig 
ab Tewdrig, who certainly was the Father of his illastrioof 
successor, Arthur, or the Bear exalted.** 

It may, howeTer, be fairly coqjectured that the appellation, 
Utbyr (Wonder), was given to this Sovereign on account of the 
awful mysteries asserted, by a triad already quoted, to have been 
communicated to him by Meny w. 

It would require an extensive development of Ancient British 
Mythology to exhibit Meny w, son of the Three Shouts, in all the 
offices attributcdHo him (in terms of high imagery) by various 
triads, and other Welsh records of ancient lore. 

There is an old Welsh poem addressed to some '* Sir Walter,** 
Vicar of Bryn Buga, (Usk) to which is appended the following 
explanation : — 

*' Composed by Meredydd ap Rhosser, to the miracle performed 
by Sir Walter, at Bryn Buga; (Usk) which nuracle is, in Welsh, 
called Hvda UedritK^ (Illusion and Phantasm). 

The poem displays a considerable degree of imaginative energy, 
blended, however, throughout, with strong superstition. Sir 
Walter''s Miracle consisted, according to this poem, in the exercise 
of that d^ee of extreme magic, which ultimately reduced the 
Prince of Darkness, himself, to strict bondage. The rampancy of 
the Evil Spirit, who, it Is said, had most inveterately laid siege 
to the. town and nei|[hbourhood, and the awful spells practised bj 
Sir Walter, to counteract his operations, are mentioned in the 
poem, with fear and trembling. The following are curious 


" Pwy, wrtb fuchedd rinweddol, 
O rym Oysg, a rwjni y Diawl ?" 

Who, of virtuous conduct. 

By strength of Learning, can bind the Devil 7 

The reply is, — Sir Walter. 

" Dawngais mawr, dangos miragl ; 
Drygau myrdd, a'u flfyrdd yn ffagl I 
Gwelais, yn hon, iV gwaelod, 
Gylch drygau beiau sy'n bod ; 
A'u diwe-dd ; — gwae ! o'u dcall." 

What an exertion of gift! to exhibit a miracle! 
Ten thousand crimes, and their courses, all in flaming fire, 
Have I seen through its means ; and, to the very bottom, 
The circle of the depravities and errors that exist; 
And also their fate. Woe betide the knowledge ! 

** Amlwg i*m golwg fe gnid 
Athryiith y Cythreuliaid.'' 

Fully manifested to my view appeared 
The intuitive Genius of Devils. 

Magic is evidently the Delusion and Phantasm attributed here 

to Sir Walter's Miracle. 

•** Gmjdion^ theme of ancient lay. 

Lord of the star^emmCd mUky-vjayy — p. 12. 

Owydion, the son of Don, to whom Menyw, the son of the 
Three Utterances, revealed his mystery, is thus noticed in the 
Triads of the Island of Britain : — 

** The three Provincial Herdsmen of the Island of Britain, Benren, 
the Herdsman in Gorweunydd, who kept the herds of Garadoc, son 
of Bran (Caractacus) and his clan; and that herd consisted of 
twenty-one thousand milch cows:— secondly, Gwydion, son of 
Don, who kept the cows of the clan of Owynedd (Venedotia) 
above the Conway, and in that henl there were twenty-one 
thousand: — thirdly, Llawvrodedd, the bearded, who kept the 



cattle of Nadd, the liberal, sod of Senyllt ; in whose herd there 
were twenty-one thousand milch cows,^^— {Triad 85.) 

** The three Blessed Astronomers of the Island of Britain : 
Idris, the Great,— Owydion, son of Don,*-and Gwyn, son of 
Nudd. So great was their knowledge of the stars, and of their 
natures and influences, that they could foretel whatever any one 
might wish to know till the day of Judgment"— (^ricMi 89.) 

In triad 134, he is mentioned in *' The three Golden Equipments 
of the Island of Britain." The first was that of Gaswallon 
(Cassivellaunus). The second that of Manawyden (Brother of Bran). 
And the third, that of Uew Llawgyffes, when he went with 
Gwydion, son of Don, Co receive his name and destiny from 
Rhianon (primitive parent) his mother. 

Gaer-Gwydion (the Fortress of Gwydion) is a frequent appella- 
tion among old Welsh writers for the Galaxy. 

Taliesin, Chief of the Bards, (circ. ann. 520) says that Gwydion 
ap Don was the first who used parchment (plagawd). 

*' Gwydion ap Don 

A rithwys Gorwyddawd y ar plagawd." 

Gwydion the son of Don 

First formed literature on parchment. 

(See '*Kadeir Keridwen,"{Jf^. Jrch. 
vol. I. p, 66.) 

In a manuscript collection of " Miscellaneous Extracts," the 
following legendary notice is included : — 

**Blodeuwedd (Blossom-aspect), the wife of Huan (the Sun), for 
deceiving her husband, was transformed by Gwydion, into an owl ; 
(TwYLLHUAN in the Welsh note— literally, the Deceiver, or Evader 

r r 


of the Sun) and after be bad travelled over the Worlds in search 
of her, be constructed Caer-Owdlon" (the Galaxy). 

" RudoUwm the red, of grey-grim heard^^ — p. IS. 

Ruddlwm (Red-bare) the Oiant, is less noticed, in old documents, 
than the two other Champions of Delusion. He is said to have 
leurned his mystery from Eiddilic (Phantom) the Dwarf, and 
Coll (Perdition), son of Collfrewi. 

The following^ well-compressed notices of Eiddilic and Coll are 
extracted from " Mr. Owen's Cambrian Biography." 

"Eiddilig the Dwarf, a mythological personage, who, with 
Menw and Math formed a triad of those who bad the power of 
being visible and invisible at pleasure. Eiddilig was also one of 
the three stubborn men, who could not be diverted from their 
purposes : the other two were Gwair and Trystan.-— (Cam5. Biog, 
p. 104.) 

*'Con, son of CoUvrewi, ranked with Ha the Mighty, afid 

liltyd, to form a triad of those who bestowed supreme blessings 

totheCymmry. Coll obtained this high' distinction^ for having 

introduced wheat and barley into the isliand, where there were 

till then only rye and oats. This event, in another trijid. Is 

mythologically allegorized, under the title of the tbf^e strong 

swine herds, who were Col), Trjrstan, and Pryderi. In tins. Coll 

is represented as guarding the sow of Dallwaran Dalben, which 

came in its progress to the promontory of Penwedic, in Cornwall; 

and then proceeded to sea ; and where she came to land was 

Aber Tarogi, in Gwent ; Coll having hold of her bristles wherever 

she went, whether on sea or by land. In Wheatfield, in Gwent, 



she deposited three grains of wheat, and three bees, and Gwent 
has been famous ever since for wheat and honey ; from Gwent she 
proceeded to Oyvcd, and there deposited a grain of barley and a 
pig, and from that time Dy ved has excelled in barley and swine ; 
afterwards she proceeded to Arvon, and in that part called Lleyn 
deposited a grain of rye, since which time Lleyn and Eivionydd 
have excelled in rye ; and on the side of the declivity of Gy ver- 
thwch she deposited a wolf-cub and an eagle chick. GoU gave 
the eagle to Brynach the Gwyddelian, of Oinas Faraon ; and the 
wolf he gave to Menwaed, of Arllechwedd ; and various are the 
reports concerning the Eagle of Brynach and the wolf of Menwaed. 
Then she proceeded to Black Rock, in Arvon, where she deposited 
a young cat, which GoU threw into the Menai, and this was the 
Palug Gat, which became a molestation afterwards in Mona. 
Under this extraordinary recital seems to be preserved a record of 
the appearance of a strange ship on the coasts under the appella- 
tion of a sow, and probably a Phoenician one, which imported the 
various things mentioned into the Island. This, probably, was 
the cause for classing Goll with Menw and Drych ail Gibddar, as 
the three who could render themselves visible or invisible at 
pleasure." — {Canib. Biog, pp. 53 64.) 

Mr. Owen*s account of the adventures of Goll is communicated, 
almost verhaiim, in the translated expressions of the 101 triad 
(Tii. Isl, Brit,) His terminating observation is judicious and 



" Where famed CyfeUiog'^s chief appeared 
His liberal hand the HirUa rear'*d" — p. IS. 

Descending from the regions of mythology, I now come to 
review a character of well authenticated history; — Owain 
Cyfeiliog;— but his distinction arises more from his poetic genius, 
which certainly was of a high order, than from his warlike restless- 

Owain, Lord of Cyfeiliog, was the son of Madoc, sonof Maredydd, 
son of Bleddyn, son of Cynfyn, Prince of Powys ; a Principality 
in North Wales, under the ancient divisions. Cwmmwd Cyfeiliog 
(the Commot of Cyfeiliog) according to Myv, Areh, vol. II. pp. 
617 618, contained Machynllaeth, Y Wirn, Cemmaes, Darowen 
Penegos, and Llan-bryn-Mair, places now included in the hundred 
of Machynllaeth, Montgomeryshire. 

Owain is frequently mentioned in history both as a warrior 
and a poet. His poem, " Hirlas Owain*' (the long blue Horn of 
Owain) is a composition of powerful thought, and splendid descrip- 
tion ; but it perpetuates scenes of desolation that are very 
repugnant to the pacific principles of Druidism. ' He appears to 
have commenced his warlike career about the year 1 160. Caradoc 
says : — 

"Oed Crist 1160, bu ymladd a diffeitbiaw cydtiroedd, &c." 
** In the year of Christ 1 160 there were reciprocal skirmishings 
and wasting of each other's territories, between Owain ap Madoc, 
Lord of Cyfeiliog, and Howel ap Cadwgan, Lord of the territories 
of Elystan Glodrydd ; without any great advantage, or victory, on 
either side.'' 


The very next record, however, relieves the mind, and is 
creditable to Glamorganshire. It is thus : (translation)—" In the 
year of Christ 1161 were renewed the Rights and Franchizes of 
those who cultivated the ground in Glamorganshire, for the pur- 
pose of raising com. Soon afterwards, the same regulations were 
adopted in North Wales, South Wales, and Powys ; and the King 
(Henry II.) was prevailed upon to extend his protection to all 
who tilled the ground ; so that lands under corn should not be 
wasted in times of war." 

Owain, in 1172, entered into war with Rhys ap Grufifydd, 
Prince of South Wales. '* Rhys brought his forces to the field 
against him, and, going to Cyfeiliog, defeated him. Rhys, how- 
ever, was not disposed to desolate the lands of the Welsh nation; 
but took hostages from Owain ; leaving him in full possession of 
his territories, and returned to Vstrad Ty wL"— (ifyt>. Jrch.) 

** The Uirlas was, in days of yore, a most necessary appendage, 

** About 1160, Owain Cyvciliog, one of the most distinguished 
princes of Powys, flourished ; he was a great warrior and an 
eminent poet; several specimens of his writings are given in the 
•• Archaiology of Wales." His poem called the Hirlas Horn (the 
long blue horn), is a masterpiece. It used to be the custom of 
the prince, when he had gained a battle, to call for the horn, fill it 
with metheglin, and drinl^ the contents at one draught, then sound 
it to show that there was no deception ; each of his officers fol- 
lowed his example." — {Cambrian Quarterly Magazine^ vol. I. 
p. 118.) 

The following Song to Owain^s Hirlas Horn, is from the pen of 
the Siren — Mrs. Hemans. It is here introduced, as applicable to the 


sabject under consideration : but the splendid poetry it presents 
would justify its insertion, independent of due connection. To 
object to its false views of merciless war would, perhaps, be 
deemed an invidious exception; now that the Charmer, whose high 
genius imagined it, is, alas ! no more. It would grace a far better 
Poem than that which is now presented to public indulgence. 



Fill high the blue Hirlas, that shines like the wave, 

When sunbeams are bright on the spray of the sea ; 
And bear thou the rich foaming mead to the brave, 

The dragons of battle, the sons of the free ! 
To those from whose spears, in the shock of the fight, 

A beam like Heaven's lightning, flashM over the field, 
To those who came rushing as storms in their might, 

Who have shiverM the helmet, and cloven the shield ; 
The sound of whose strife, was like oceans afar, 
When lances were red from the harvest of war. 


Fill high the blue Hirlas! O, cup-bearer, fill ! 

For the Lords of the field in their festivaPs hour. 
And let the mead foam, like the stream of the hill. 

That bursts o'er the rock in the pride of its power; 
Praise, praise to the mighty, fill high the smooth horn 

Of honour and mirth, for the conflict is o'er; 
And round let the golden-tippM Hirlas be borne. 

To the lion defenders of Gwynedd's fair shore, 
Who rush'd to the field where the glory was won, 
As eagles that soar from their cliffs to the sun. 


Fill higher the Hirlas ! forgetting not those 

Who shar'd its bright draught in the days which are fled I 
Though cold on their mountains the valiant repose, 

Their lot shall be lovely— renown to the dead ! 
While harps in the hall of the feast shall be strung. 

While regal Eryri with snow shall be crown'd ; 
So long by the Bard shall their battles be sung. 

And the heart of the hero shall burn at the sound ; 
The free winds of Maelor shall swell with their name, 
And Owain*s rich Hirlas be filPd to their fame ! 


OwaiD, having ezperraoced repeated disasters, was at last re- 
established in his Prioci|>a1itj, through the assistance of the 
Normans and Saxons. 

The desperate, and indeed treasonable, expedient of having 
recourse to foreign aid, in extremities, brought on by unjustifiable 
aggressions, tias almost invariably proved destructive to the 
national independence of the countries so temporarily assisted. 
The faithful chronicle of Garadoc, records many such occurrences; 
and the consequences that thence accrued, too constantly sub- 
stantiated the baneful effects of the policy that could suggest 
remedies of so dangerous a nature. In every instance, the Saxons 
and Normans, whose co-operation had been obtained, availed 
themselves of the decreasing strength of the belligerent petty 
states ; and, advancing^ their own influence, by throwing succes- 
sive coils around them, ultimately extinguished the independence 
of the dominions within their fatal protection. So it has been : 
let us entertain a ** sure and certain hope" that so it will not be 

Rather than a source of regret, it is a circumstance of joy, that 
our country has been brought under the rule of one Supreme 
Head ; to the suppression of inconsiderable states, whether apper- 
taining to the Ancient British Government, the Saxon Heptarchy, 
or to the former Scottish and Irish realms; but it is an occur- 
rence of deep regret to every Cambrian, that the energetic Welsh 
Language has been excluded from the Bench ; and, until recently, 
to a very great extent, from the Pulpit. To the latter circum- 
stance may be justly attributed much of the original, and the 
subsequently continued dissent, in Wales, irom the Established 


Church. The former case would admit of great Improvement, 
were Judges and Barristers only admitted into the Welsh circuits, 
who were acquainted with the vernacular language of the natives. 
Evidences are frequently so misconstrued, by inadequate in- 
terpreters, as to pervert often, to an injurious extent, the 
testimonies given by Welsh witnesses. To obviate this antici- 
pated defect, English depositions have occasionally been peremp- 
torily required from persons so defective in that language, as to 
misrepresent, through its medium, their own ideas. The remedy, 
thus effected, is like that of running into Charybdis, by endeavour- 
ing to avoid Scylla. 

Notwithstanding some expressions that have, unadvisedly 
escaped the Bench, on this subject, to cast the most distant 
reflection on, or in anywise to disparage the patient and merciful 
conduct of our Judges, who now preside, successively, in the Welsh 
Courts, is diametrically opposite to the object of these remarks. 
A difficulty, however, exists, that requires impartial consideration. 
But I have digressed already too far. 

** Emblazoned arms of high degree^ 
That told of ancient chivalry. 
The motto, on their shield disptaifd, — 

"0oTl! KtitS (SnOUgh*"— /^ir%eco7M;^*i."— p. U. 
The original shield of the Stradlings, presenting a rather unusual 
field, I applied, not relying implicitly on my own acquaintance 
with heraldry, to Richard Rees, Esq., of Cardiff, a gentleman 
extremely well yersed in Genealogies, and Antiquities generally, 
for a proper blazoDing of the arms; and received the following 


tliroagh the mediam of my logeDious friend, and the former 
stauDcii friend of my Father,— -Elijah Waring, Esq., of the sane 

•• Paly of siXj^argent and ctxure. — On a bend, 
Gules, three cinquefoils, — or. 

** Duw! A DiGOM,*' (God ! and enoagh,) the motto, — was 
probably, either that which belonged to the maternal ancestort, 
who were Welsh, (see No. V. in descent, in the Memoirs) of Sir 
Robert Stradling*s Lady, or to some of the PoWysian Princes, 
with whom, it is said, perhaps on doubtful authority, (from a 
seeming anachronism in the account), that the first Sir William 
was connected by marriage. 

There are seme old oaken boards in the aisle of the StratUingB, 
in St. Donats* Church, on which Sir Harry Stradling and his Lady, 
together with other male and female branches of the family, are 
painted in devotional postures. On these boards, the original 
arms, together with others of alliance, are also represented ; with 
the motto, at greater length, in antique orthography ;~thus — 
"Heb Dhyw heb Dhym — Dyw! a Diqon." 
Without God, without everything : — God 1 and enough. 

The escutcheon mentioned in the poem, is supposed to have con- 
tained bearings that appertained to the order of the Holy Sepul- 
chre, an order conferred, according to the Memoirs, and other 
concurrent Cestimonies^ on several Knights of this family. 


** A LwrCsform the lend supplied 
To raise the boval on dexter side; 

• • • • • 

M concave base, the radiant hue 

Of Sapphire bright, 

• • • • • 

Confronting, rose a Dragon bold. 

And, curving, fomCd the other hold, 

• • • • • 

An eagles Udorid limb sustained 
The fount nectareous.** — pp. H Id. 

The vase of the Stradlings is supposed to have been presented 
to the first Sir William, bj Cynfyn, because that Knight, 
according, to Mr. Gamage^s account, (which, here, admits of great 
doubt, for reasons already stated) had married the daughter of 
Gwerystan, Prince of Powys, who was, also, Gynfyn^s Father. 

It is to be considered only as an imaginary vessel, introduced 
merely as a vehicle for British Mythology. The figures, supposed 
Co be represented on its central convexity, have been selected as 
the characters best adapted to blend poetical amplification with 
recorded fiction. A fair scope to fancy will be allowed, in the 
first instance; but the latter case should be well sustained by 
documentary authorities. The figures that form the handles, the 
concave appearance, and the eagle-clawed supporter of the vase, 
have been, in some measure, borrowed from a poem, composed by 
Gwilym Tew, (U40) in praise of the family cup, or bowl^ 

of Sion ap Rhys, of Aberpcrgwm ; a ^distant ancestor, in the 



hereditary line, of William Williams, Esq., the present possessor 
of that ancient, and beautifully situated mansioo. The Aberper- 
rgwm, or Olynn N(dd Family ; have, through successive ages, been 
eulogized by the Welsh Bards, as the liberal chieftain descendants 
of the united Houses of Einion ab Gollwyn and lestyn ap Owrg^n ; 
two Princes, whose pedigrees are traced retrospectively, through an 
uninterrupted lineage of Royalty, to the earliest periods of British 

The radiant vest of the Awbn has fallen on several members of 
this Ancient Family. Rhys Ooch ap Riccert, a grandson of 
Einion, was a very superior Bard, who flourished from 1140 to 
1170. Many of his compositions are still preserved, and may be 
reckoned among the oldest specimens extant oi Lyric Welsh poetry, 
leuan Getbin ap leoan ap Lleisioo, (about 1440) a member of the 
Lhinlaglan (Bagian), branch, was an extensive author, of great 

• merit. His poems display a ladd and vigorous genius ; and his 
chronological writings are in the purest Siluriad style. Other 

- lynches of this house might be included among the votaries of 
the Muse. Nor will justice allow me to omit the present Repre- 

'"sentative of the Family, whose diffidence alone keeps bis harmo- 

ttions talent iq restriction. His elegant verses to the River Neath 

will amply sustain this opinion. 

The followhig quotations from Gwilym Tew's poem to the cup 

-6f Sion ap Rhys, are the portions imitated. 

** Owarr draig, gwahoddrwraig, y.w bonn, 
Olynn Nedd, gwyliau newyddion : 
Oweilgrn rfaagori gwerin ; 
Owrid mSl ag aur hyd i min.*^ 

Of dragon shoulder, this (the cup) is the inviting matron 
Of Glynn Nedd, at the New Festivals : 


An Ocean, invigorating a host ; 

Haying the blush of Honey and Gold to its very brink. 

** Ffiol vawr, a flfalf eryr." 
A great cup, with an Eagle's claw. 

" Melyn i bronn, am lynn bras ; 
Mewn i gwaelod maen golas.*' 

Yellow is its breast, surrounding rich liquor, 
And at its bottom a blue-tinged stone. 

" Llew uwch benn ; nyd Ilechu bydd.** , 

With a Lion surmounting ; and not couchaiit. 

The following descriptive lilies of this Welsh poem are, also,, 
worthy of notice. 

<« Fob llymaid d'enaid a d^l." 
Every drop of its contents will remunerate thy soul. 


'* Ymovynnynt am v'enaid 
Wrth ymyl honn ; — werth mel haid.' 

Let them seek for my soul 
At the brink of this cup, that contains the essence of the honey 

of a whole swarm. 

•* Wrth wyr bwrdd Arthur i bu." 
It has been before the men of Arthur's Round Table. 

*^ Fal dau Iwyth ffiolaid lawn 
Fy'r dynnell ar vord Einiawn." 

Twice as capacious as a fiill bowl. 
Appeared this tun^ on the board of Einion, 

** Yr un braich orau yn bro 
As y wann dan bwys honno/* 

The very strongest arm in our country 
Is weak under its weight. 

Unless the zeal of the Bard led him into great extravagance,, 
this vessel was not only the Patera of Aberpergwm, but likewise 
a Royal heir-loom ; having descended from Arthur^s Round Table,, 
through successive Princes, to the board of Einion ab Cbllwyn ;. 


and, tbenee, to SioD ap Rhjs ; after whom, do fobseqaeot noUee is 
foand of it. 

Mr. Wflliams, however, has procured a cap nmilarlj formed, 
firom the Bard*f deicriptioD. 

It appears to have been a treqpenX custom, in former times, to 
fix some predoos stone at the bottoms of caps and bowls. The 
amethyst, perhaps, was generally selected, from its being deemed 
a preventive of dronl^eDness. 

Rhys Mearig, of Cottrel, in his aocoont of the Le Soores, of 

Peterston super Ely, relates an anecdote to the following effect :^ 

Dafydd ab Owiiym, the highly-gifted Bard of Ifor Had, (Ivor 

the Liberal, an ancestor of the present Sir Charles Morgan, of 

Tredegar) in one of his perambulations, called, late at night, at 

the Castle of Sir Mathew Le Soore (the last of that family) and 

being a most popular character, was readily admitted. In the 

course of conversation, it was observed to him, that he ooold 

hardly spare time, from his devotion to Ifor Had, to call at a 

proper hour, any where dse; but, that the hoitomofone of Sir 

Mathew Le Soore^s cups was worth more than Ifor Had*s cups 

altogether. I do not know, as to that, replied the Son of Song^, 

for I tiave never yet seen the boitom of Ifor Had's cup : and, 

extempore, added— 

" Dewr, a digrif, yw Ifor ;— 
Sais y w Sir Mathew Le Sdr.*" 

Bold and cheerful is Ivor ; 

But Sir Mathew Le Soore is a Saxon* 


** Whose mind, the tales of magic spell. 
And cross-road ghosts, had treastu^d weU,^ — p. ]6. 

Tho popular superstitions, relating to Magic, have been ooticed, 
and minutely described, by so many writers on the subject, that 
any detailed account of them, here, would justly be deemed 
superfluous. They prevail through all European countries ; with- 
out any material variations. 

The former practice of burying persons, who had committed 
suicide, in cross-roads, an usage far *' more honoured in the breach 
than in the observance," has been long known in this country. 
Whether this custom, from long sufferance, had become recog- 
nized as a feature of our Common Law, or that it was one of the 
many instances of Vulgar Error, that have, for ages, prevailed, is 
not a topic for present consideration. The recent, and very 
salutary changes in our Criminal Code, have effectually abolished 
all such remains of darker ages. A remark may still bo allowable. 

Were the various laws of the ancient kingdoms of the Saxon 
Heptarchy carefully collected, and, together with the Welsh 
Code of Howel Dda,— i^oto^ the Good (published in 17S0, by Dr. 
Wotton, in Latin and Welsh columns, collaterally,) studied, with 
due care ; it is highly probable that the result would identify the 
maxims, now deemed vulgar errors, with principles acknowledged, 
and enforced, by those remote, and now exploded institutions. 

Persons interred in * cross-roads were placed face downwards; 
and secured there, by stakes driven through their bodies. 

My Father, about 50 years ago, composed an ** Elegy on the 
death, whenever it should happen, of ," who had 


unjustly withheld a document, placed in his tiands, for the* recovery 
of about ^700. The monodj had no visible effect on the eartblj 
locomotion of its object; for be extended it to some additional 
thirty years. But the Bard considered the LiunnU a fair set off 
against his claim, so unblushingly outraged ; and, poor as be Was, 
never after sought for redress. 

The following stanza, alluding to the obsolete practice men- 
tioned, is a specimen of the Elegy : — 

With downward face, now mark him well. 
As if to view his native hell ! 

Naird fast with knotty stakes : — 
Where cross the roads they dug his grave ; 
There howls his ghost !~ unlucky knave, 

Till each old woman quakes ! 

** Of fairies dance, when found array* d. 
By midnight moon, in gloomy glade,^* — p. 16. 

Tiie belief superstitiously entertained respecting fairies, is not 
limited to particular districts; but prevails, like the commoo 
notions about magic, in most countries : and the modes of exis* 
tence and operation, imputed to these imaginary beings, are not 
very variously described. 

The following, contains the opinion prevalent in many parts of 

** The Welsh idea of Fairies is,— that they are the souls of 
departed human beings ; not sufficiently depraved to be severely 
punished ; neither are they so divested of evil, as to be admitted 
into Bliss ; but must remain in their present state of existence, 
till the last day ; when they will be received into Heaven. They 
are considered to be benevolently disposed towards all virtuous 


men ; but vice, especially lying and sluttishness, they abominably 
hate ; and they are supposed to punish, invisibly, all that are 
addicted to such habits."— (E. W.) 

Fairies are called, in Welsh "Y TylwythTeg," (the Fair People, 
or Household), '* Bendith ea Mammau," (their Mothers* Bless- 
ings), &c. These names, or epithets, convey no unfavourable 
characteristics ; and when we consider the merry lives of, dance 
and concert, they are said to lead ; in addition to the high privilege, 
that-^" death visits them never" they may be viewed as Beings 
of an exalted order. 

Their existence here, then, seems to furnish a notion of earthly 
purgatory;— ran exclusion from celestial bliss, rather than a state 
of hopeless suffering ;—an idea, however unreal, that imparts a 
benign conception of punishment. 

'« The light that heralds to the tomb:*^p. 17. 
The superstition of ** Ganwyll Oorph," (Corpse-candle) is said 
to be confined, not only to Wales, but, excluswely, to the Diocese 
of St. Davids. I have, however, heard the peculiar claim of 
Dlmetia to this luminous portend of Death, strenuously contested, 
in the vale of Glamorgan ; where they maintain, in full confidence, 
that the privilege was first conceded to the. ancient See of 
Gaerlleon, in Gwent, when Stt David presided there ; and that it 
was not translated, with the tutelary Saint, to St. Davids. Leav- 
ing so abstruse a point to the decision of those who have eyes to 
see this light of fatal omen, (for aU it seems, are not gifted with 
such extraordinary powers of vision) I shall here introduce a few 
extracts respecting it. 


The Rev. Edmund Jones may jusUy be styled the cbampioo of 
this belief. The scornful compassion which he extends to Sceptics 
and Infidels, on these momentous apparitions, fully attest his own 
conviction of their reality. This is his testimony :•— 

'*They are chiefly women, and men of weak and womanish 
understandings, who speak against the accounts of spirits and 
apparitions. In some women, this comes from a certain proud 
fineness, excessive delicacy, and a superfine disposition, which 
cannot bear to be disturbed with what is strange or disagreeable 
to a vain spirit. But why should the daughters of Mother Eve 
be so severe to hear of their great adversary Satan, with whom 
she first conversed, and whom she first believed, and was deceived 
by him." 

The Rev. Advocate seems to be very wroth, indeed, with the 
Ladies, for their hardened infidelity, as to the existence of '* spirits 
and apparition ;^ and transgresses all propriety, in his denouncia- 
tionof their "superfine" dispositions. But our author unflinch- 
ingly proceeds with the subject in question ; adducing a variety of 

** One Walter John, belonging to the people called Quakers, 
went to live wl^ere one Morgan Lewis, a weaver, had lived before 
him, and after death, had appeared to some, and troubled the 
house, saw one night, while in bed, a light come up stairs ; and 
expecting to see a spectre, in fear, endeavoured, but in vain, to 
awake his wife.'* The spectre ** that came with a candle in his hand, 
&c." proved to be no other personage, than the aforesaid turbulent 
Morgan Lewis, who had come there, again, on account of *' some 
bottoms of wool." 


A clergyman's son is next cited in testimony. He saw a <!andle 
advancing towards a bridge, as he returned home from " a debauch/' 
After some trouble and dread, this young man discovered that 
the bridge had been displaced, and that the candle, consequently, 
could not go over : He replaced the bridge, but when the candle 
approached, to pass, be courageously ** struck it," "bat the 
effect was strong, for he became dead (only pro tempore^ it after- 
wards turns out) on the place/* Mr. Jones then moralizes thus :•— 
** Such is the power of the spirits of the other world, and it is ill- 
jesting with them." 

The Divine proceeds : — 

** Joshua Coslet, a man of sense and knowledge, told me of 
several Corpse* candles ; — that some dark shadow of a man carried 
the candle, holding it between his three forefingers over against 
his face. Others have seen the likeness of a candle carried in a 
skull. One William John, of Llanboydi, going home one night, 
somewhat drunk, and bold (it seems too bold), saw one of the 
Corpse-candles. He went out of his way to meet it. It was a 
burying, and a corpse upon the bier ; the perfect resemblance of a 
woman in the neighbourhood, whom he knew, holding the candle 
between her forefingers, who dreadfully grinned at him." 

The following remark of this narrator, recalls to mind the 
*' scoundrel*' who almost periled the veracity of Baron Munchau- 
sen's Travels, by exaggerating the incidents recorded in them. 

*•*■ Some have said that they saw the shape of those who were 
to be at the burying. I am willing to siispend my belief of this, 
as seeming to be too extravagant, though their foreboding know- 
ledge of mortality appears to be very wonderful and undeniable.** 



Corpse-candles are always considered as foreranners of fanerals. 
They pursue the exact courses to be taken by the bodies, whose 
last journeys, and final places of earthly repose, they are supposed 
to trace and determine. 

Various are the limits prescribed to their influence, and periods 
of accomplishment. Some say that the deaths, thus anticipating! y 
illustrated, must take place before the termination of the year in 
which the candles occur ; others either extend or circumscribe such 
limits. The colour and size of the candle are, however, considered 
quite decisive of the age and sex of the doomed. A red candle 
goes before the funeral of a male, and a pale one before that of a 
female; a large one before a full-grown person, a small taper 
before a child, and so in proportion, for intermediate ages. A 
man cut off in the full vigour of health and strength, is preceeded 
by an immense flambeau. 

These candles are said to proceed from the chambers of the 
persons whose deaths are thus prognosticated, to their graves ; and 
their undulations represent the irregular motions of the biers; for 
they are subject to all the obstructions the ensuing funerals are 
to undergo. 

Such is the system to which these luminaries have been reduced ; 
and he is an infldel indeed, in the estimation of many, to this very 
day, particularly in agricultural districts, and in deep mountain 
ravines, who would have the hopeless hardihood to deny their 


" FuU twenty lustrums o'er his head.^'* — p. 19. 
The Census, or Survey of the Roman Citizens, and their 
Estates, was introduced by Servius Tullius, the sixth King ; who 
performed the duty of Censor himself. In process of time, it was 
found necessary to appoint a Magistracy for that employment ; 
and two Censors were created. Their office was to continue five 
years ; because, every fifth year, the General Survey used to be 
performed. After this survey and inquisition into the manners of 
the people, the Censors made a solemn lustration, or expiatory 
Sacrifice, in the name of all the people. The sacrifice consisted of 
a sow, a sheep, and a bull. This ceremony they called Lustrum 
condere; and, upon this account, the space of five years came (o 
be signified by the word Lustrum,^^^( Basil Kennetfs Roma 
AniiqmB Notitia. 3d Ed., pp.113, 113, 114.) 

" The taie of Cclyn Dolphyn'sfate:'-^p. 22, 
Sec the Memoirs;— XIII.— pp. 90 91. 

'* Distinguished Famagusta gave, 
In sacred shrine, a pUgrim^s grave,"* --^p. 23, 
See the Memoirs;— XIU.— p. 90. 


'* And teenCd to seek Dunraoen^t shore,** — p. SI. 

It will be seen, by the Memoirs,— XIII. p. 91, that the pirate 
CoLTN DoLPHYN^s vessel struck on the Nash sands ; where the 
Frolic steam-packet was recently wrecked, when her crew, and 
numerous passengers, all perished. The Ttiscar is a dangerous 
rock to the west of these sands, and would be quite in the way of 
any vessel destined to the creek of Dunraven, in boisterous 
weather; even though the master, or captain, should be well 
acquainted with the coast. 

" Dunraven Castle stands on a small peninsula, jutting into the 
Bristol Channel, and is in the parish of St. Brides Major, in the 
county of Glamorgan."— (E. W.) 

This fine seat, with the extensive estates attached to it, belongs, 
now, to the Earl of Dunraven, whose Lady is the daughter, and 
heiress, of the late Thomas Wtndham, Esq., Member of Parlia- 
ment for the county of Glamorgan, for many years. Mr. Wynd- 


ham was a most amiable gentleman ; possessing a benevolence of 
mind, and goodness of heart, that prompted him, through life, to 
acts of beneficence. His memory ** blossoms in the dust.*' 

"Theancient Welsh name of Dunraven is — Dindryfan, — which 
signifies the triangular fortress ; and its situation is, in accordance 
with the designation, rudely triangular; being formed on the 
land side, by a triple entrenchment, from one side of the 
peninsula to the other ; — and the other two sides are described by 
steep sea cliflfs ; so that this place must have been a situation of 
considerable strength, and secure defence. Of all the houses in 
the Island, that are noticed in history, this is, by far, the most 
ancient. It was the principal residence of the ancient Princes of 
Siluria ; and particularly of Br&n ap Llyr, and his renowned son, 
Caradoc ap Br^n (the great Caractacus). It is occasionally men- 
tioned, in a very old Manuscript, called *' Bonedd y Saint,'* a 
document that gives, as its name imports, brief memoirs of the 
Primitive British Christians."— (E. W.) 

** Monk'nash its source salubrious knows, 
Where rich Pomona takes her seat^^—p, 36. 

Monk-nash is a small parish contiguous to St. Donats, and 
bordering 'the Severn. 

Sir Edward Mansel, speaking " of the manner that the wealth*' 
of Glamorgan was divided, by Fitzhamon, among his Knights, 
says :— ** To Sir Richard Greenvill he gave the Castle and Town 
of Neath, with its land and mannor; and he had also the mannor of 
Monk-nash for his granary and provisioRS, where he planted fair 
orchards, and built many fair houses for the Welsh franklens, to 
whom he gave lands of six marks a year to keep his Court.** 


'* The course by ancient laws ordain^dj'^ — p. 40. 
After relating the various allotments, made by Sir Robert 
FitzbamoD, Sir Edward Mansel says : — ** It behoveth here to 
ipeaic of the order of Rule and Governance that Sir Robert set 
up, and of such laws as were settled upon." He, then, enumerates 
the lordships of Glamorgan, ** which were twelve,*^ and continues, 
thus : — ** Now of these Lords, before the time of Robert FitsB- 
bamon, there was one chief Lord of Glamorgan, whose were the 
high Royaities, and he assembled the other Lords every month to 
his Court, where all matters of Justice were determined and 
finally settled. These Lords sat in judgment on all matters of 
law, with twelve freeholders from every Lordship, to give opinions 
after what came to their knowledge, and the Bishop of Llandaflf 
sat in the High Court as a Councillor of Conscience, according to 
the Laws of God. This Court was formed, they say, by Morgan, 
who was Prince of the country after King Arthur, in the manner 
of Clirist and his twelve Apostles; and this form of law was 
kept by Sir Robert Fitzhamon, according to the old usage of the 
county. After the High Court was held, which lasted three days, 
the Courts of the twelve Lordships were held in turn, and from 
them an appeal might be made to the High Court of the county. « 
The Lord and his Yeomen in the same form and manner as in the 
High Court." 

Mentioning other manors "besides the Royal Cantred,*' be 
says : — " In each of these mannors were held once in the fortnight 
mostly. Courts of Frank-pledge, where sat the Reeve of the 
Manner as Judge, and with him the freeholders of the sams 


mannor. The tenants and freeholders in those mannors were under 
the High Court with respect to matters of law. After winnings 
the county, Sir Robert Fitzhamon look to him his twelve Knights 
to supply the places in his courts of the lawful and right Lords of 
the twelve Lordships, which caused discontent, inasmuch that the 
Welsh Lords took arms under Pain Turberville and Caradoc ab 
lestyn, and Madoc his brother/^ 

Fitzhamon was vanquished, and constrained to restore the 
ancient laws ; but they were, again, perfidiously violated. The old 
Welsh Institution, which they had at first adopted, was of too 
free and impartial a nature to suit the Feudal Tyranny of the 

Rhys Meurig, in his ** History of Glamorgan,*' says, that from 
the very hostile opposition made by the Welsh to the Norman 
mode of Government, it was found necessary to reconstruct the 
Judicial Courts, on principles better calculated to allay the com- 
plaints of the country; and that, in consequence of such altera- 
tions, the presiding Lords had little or no controul in the proceed- 
ings. The Welsh tenants sat with the freeholders, in deciding all 
cases. Criminal prosecutions, as well as Civil actions, came under 
their cognizance; and judgments were delivered in Welsh: a 
proceeding that resembled, in some features, the course prescribed 
by Howel the Good's legal institution. 

" JVe dam thee to the Wind and r«irf."— p. 44. 

In cases of capital conviction, sentence of deatU was thus 

pronounced, by tenants, sitting as Benchers : — 

" Gwynt,— Gwyden,— a Phen blaidd, — 
A cbrogi nes marw." 


Wind, — noose, — and a Wolfs head ; — 
And hanging to death. 

Or, varied, thus : — 

" Grogi nes marw :— Gwynt, a Gwyden, a Phen blaidd.^ 
Hanging to death: — Wind, Noose, and a Wolfs head. 

These terms, although they may sound somewhat uncouthly to 
modern ears, are not only descriptive of the manner of execution, 
but, also, of the savage (Wolf) ferocity of the person thus con- 

" While bearing towards the English strand.^'* — p. 46. 

" A sail I sent to yonder strand*^ — p. 60. 
See the Memoirs ; under XVIII., in decent— p. 98. 


Heart to Heart:'— p. 63. 

The Bards, from very distant periods, have adopted certain 
mottos for their several Chairs. 

The paramount Chair of the Bards of the Island of Britain had, 
for its motto, — GvriR vn erbvn y Btd ; (Truth against the 
World). The Chair of Glamorgan, including Gwent, or rather, 
originally, that of Siluria, — Dow a phob Daioni ; (God ! and 
all Goodness). The Chair of Dyfed, (Dimetia) which is also 
frequently called the Chair of South Wales, (Deheubarlh)— Calon 
WHTH Galon; (Heart to Heart). The Chair of Powys, — A 
LADDo A leddir; (who slays shall be slain) — and the Chair of 
Gwynedd, (North Wales, or Venedoti»),--lE8U (Jesus). 


»* —__ TresUian^s cave. 

* • • • • 

Fair DwymoerCs bow of Destiny ^ — p. 63. 
Tresilian is a short, but rather abrupt dingle, that opens to the 
Severn, between Llantwit M^gor and St. Donats; about a mile 
from each place. It has high cliflfs on each side. Immediately on 
the western side, an immense cavern, of great height and breadth, 
fronts the sea ; and its e^ttent inwards is considerable. But its 
most remarkable feature is a natural arch, formed by portions of 
a rocky substratum that extends across, from side to side, a little 
below the general roof, which consists of lime-stone rock, horizon- 
tally stratified. The strata that intervened between this arch and 
the present roof, having been worn away by the perpetual action of 
tides, a considerable vacancy occurs there.— Dwynwen, the daugh- 
ter of Brychan Brycheiniog, who flourished about 4dO ; — Dwyn- 
wen, whom the Cambrian votaries of Love supplicate,-- still 
presides in this cave. Her Bow of Destiny is hung there ; lind 
many are those who consult its oracular powers. 



Persons who visit this place, take up some of the small pebbles 
that bestrew its floor, which is rather higher than the outward shore, 
and strive to throw them over the arch ; so as to descend on the 
opposite side. It requires no small exertion to accomplish this 
athletic feat ; the cavern being very high. The number of frnit~ 
less efforts made, before the arch be surmounted, is supposed to 
•denote the period of years that must intervene before the essa3ring 
person, if single, be married ; or, if married, be released by 
Death from existing ties, for another choice ; for fair Dwynwen 
discountenances celibacy. 

It is a source of no small mirth, to notice old and young, — the 
lame,— and I had almost said, the blind, (for all must fain have 
a fling) at this portending exercise ; and when the cave is pretty 
full, it requires a sharp look up, to escape the impending hard 
shower. No contest for the "Siller Gun^' ever afforded such 
licarty sport. 

<* Old Gw&yd^s holy tower:'-^, 64. 
The ancient 9ame of St. Dooa4s was Llapwerydd. The Church 
<tf tbis parish was, originally, dedicated to Gwbrvdd, one of the 
WMx Primitive Christians, or Saints, as they were at first 
denominated. Gwerydd is thus briefly noticed in " Ach^u Saint 
Ynys Prydain," (the Genealogies of the British Saints) ** Saint 
Gwerydd, son of Cadwn, son of Cynan, son of Eodaf, of the 
family of Br^, the blessed;— at Llanwerydd, in Gwent, now 
called Si, Donats.'* Professor Rees says, that the Church is 
dedicated to Dunwyd, and his authority is not to be hastily 
questioned; but I an mupb disposed, unless good evidence be 


sddaeed, to attribute the dedication of every Church to the Saint 
whose name it bears. 

My very respectable friend, John Brace Brace, Esqaire, whos& 
assistance I have received, in numerous instances, says, that he 
saw a print in France, that represented Donatus (Dunawd, or 
Dunwyd), as presiding over seamen in distress. St. Donats is 
situated on a very dangerous shore ; and the Church was, probably 
re-dedicated to Dunwyd, in consequence of the supposed influence 
he exercised in favour of mariners in peril, 

** AnnaiCs fOikU hounds,** ^.— p. 70. 

'* Cwn Annwn," the Dogs of the Abyss, or the Dogs of HeU^ 
were, according to Welsh superstition, infernal spirits that, in the 
semblance of hounds, (by some described as very large and gaunt, 
— ^by others, as small) awaited the departing spirits of the wicked ; 
and hunted them to their destined place of torment. 

Miss Jane Williams, of Aberpergwm, who supplied Mr. T» 
Crofton Croker with most of the interesting tales relating to> 
Wales, which his publication on " Fairy Legends and Traditions*' 
contains, gives the following description of Cwn Annwn, as com- 
municated to her by an old Cwm Neath man, who flrmly asserted 
thehr existence >—"Tliey are small dogs, that howl in the ahr, 
with a wild sort of lamentation." Their colour has been variously 
given ;— sometimes as being black, with red spots ; and again, as 
red with black spots, &c. The Rev. ESdmund Jones, of ghosUy 
memory, enlarges much on this subject ; adducing many instances; 
and clenching every tale with an assurance of the great respecta- 
bility, and veracity, of his informant ** The nearer tbeae dog» 


were to man,*' says he, "the less their voice was, like that of 
small beetles; and the farther, the louder; and sometimes like 
the voice of a great hound, or like that of a blood-hound ;— «' a 
deep hollow voice.' " 

" ^010 tolVd lUiUus' heU;' #•<?.— p. 73. 
The Bell of Iltutus is, perhaps, the oldest now in the kingdom. 
It attracted particular notice, in the time of Edgar. Hollingshed 
thus speaks of it:— *' Towards the latter end of King Edgar's 
dales, the Welshmen moved some rebellion against him. Where- 
upon he assembled an armie, and entering the countrie of 
Glamorgan, did much hurt to the same, chastising the inhabitants 
verie sharplie for their rebellious attempts. Amongst other 
spoils taken on those parties at that time by the men of war, the 
bell of Saint EUutus was taken away, and hanged about a horsses 
necke, and (as hath been reported) in the aftemoone, it chance!l 
that King Edgar laid him down to rest, whereupon in sleepe there 
appeared one unto him and smote him on the breast with a speare. 
By reason of which vision he caused all things that had beene 
taken away to be restored againe. But within nine daies after 
the King deed."— (Book VII., c. 63, p. 161.) 

After having sunk into oblivion, for centuries, on repairing 
the public clock of Lantwit Major, an ancient town, called in 
Welsh Llan-IUtyd, (the Church of Iltutus), this bell was discovered, 
in 1814, by the following inscription, which it bears, in very ancient 
characters : — 

**Ora. pro nobis Sancte Iltute." 
It was noticed by the Rev. Robert Nichol, of Dimlands, an 
excellent antiquary; whose son, Nichol, Esq., of the Inner 


Temple, obliging^ly copied for me the above extract respecting it. 
Thisgentleman^s younger sod also transmitted to me some informa- 
tion respecting the Castle. While thus acknowledging my 
obligations, I must here notice again, the particular kindness of 
John Bruce Bruce, Esq., of Dyffryn, Aberdare, who, with his 
characteristic ardour, and disinterestedness, exerted himself, 
zealously, during a temporary residence ^t St. Donats, to collect 
for mo the traditions and reminiscences still lingering there. My 
kind friend, and former pupil, Edward L. Richards, Esq., of 
LincoIn^s Inn, also furnished me with a valuable paper on the 
Geology of the district mentioned in the Poem: but the un- 
expected extent of the notes precludes the insertion of these 
interesting communications. 

Among the many charms attributed to bells, is the following : — 
" The fiends of Hell I do dispel.*' 

" From fair GorwennydcPs western line^ 
To pious TeOato's crosier *Arine."— p. 73. 

Gorwennydd was the western division of ancient 6 went. ' * The 
name,*' says my father, **impIiesUtterGwent,— or uttermost of 
the Gwents." 

The parishes now enumerated in the Deanery of GronecUh, in 
the Diocese of Llandaflf, a corruption of Gorwennydd, constitute 
the places included in that ancient division, which is frequently 
mentioned in Caradoc's Chronicle, — Achau y Saint, &c. &c. 

By Teilaw^s crosier shrine, is meant the Cathedral Church of 
Llandafif ; a place of great antiquity, that, in the old Liber Landa- 
vensiSf is called * ' Lan Telau maur.** 


Tbe martyr towers aUuded to, are those of Mertbyr Bfawr, 
(ibe great Martyr), Merthyr Dyfao, (Dy&n tbe Martyr), and 
Mertbyr Tydfl, (Tydfil tbe Martyr). It was, origiiiaUy, mj 
intentioD to notioe tbeae places particalarly -j but tbe Rev. R. 
Rees*8 Easay on tbe Welsb Saiots will amply repay tbe peruaai 
of it by any persons interested, eitber in tbe ancient Ecdesiastical 
History of Wales, or in its anUquitiet geaerally. 


The Genealogies consulted for this publication are,-^the aocaont 
given of his own Family, by Sir £kiward Stradling, tbe seven- 
teenth in descent, under the following designation : — '* William 
le Esterling, alias Stradling, his Petegree ;*' wtiich terminates in 
1572; the ** Memoirs of tbe Stradlings," written by tbe Rev. E. 
Gamage, ending in 1726 ; and the ** Descent of the Stradlings,** 
drawn out by Mr. Johnson, which includes the whole line. 

Sir Edward, and Mr. Johnson, write the family name — Le 
Esterling,— for the first four Knights, — and then, — Stradling ; but 
Gamage sinks tbe Le altogether. (Garadoc writes it'^Desterlin.) 

Mr. Gamage introduees a ** Sir Gilbert," the second of thai 
name, after Sir Peter, the eighth in descent : but mentioning no 
marriage, he says that be died childless. My transcript, in this 
place, has an erasure; for which reason, and because of the 



aolenee of all other aatborities respecting him, I have omitted the 
name. A peculiar, and apparently inconsistent statement is also 
made by him, respecting Sir Edward, the nineteenth in descent, 
whom be merely terms a Knight^ observing that Charles the First 
created him so; bat that he died before his father : still he ranks 
him in the line of family succession. 

The following other discrepancies are unimportant I'^Sir Edward 
mentions no marriage for the first Knights, until the seventh ;— 
when he says:— ** It doth not appeare in what stocke or sirname 
anie of these seven Knights above named did marrie : but the 
christian names of the wives of William the first, Robert, and 
John the second, were Howisia, Mathilda, and Cicilia.*' 

Oamage and Johnson concur in the names of the three first 
Ladies, but the fourth is called by the latter (erroneously perhaps) 
Ha Vila ; by the former — Howisia. Oamage omits th« i^me of 
the fifth; but Johnson supplies it — Eleanor: both call the Lady 
of the seventh — -«^«n;— Sir Edward, — Cicilia, Sir Edward and 
Johnson call the Lady of the eighth, — Julian; — Gamage,—- 
Johanna, Under the ninth descent, Gamage says Gilbert Strong- 
bow, — Knight; — the others, — Gilbert Strongbow, — a younger 
brother. Under the eleventh, Gamage says. Sir John St. Barbe, 
— Knight;— the others, — John St. Barbe. Sir Edward says, that 
Sir Edward, the twelfth in descent, went to Jerusalem in the 
reign of Henry the VII. Gamage, — about the beginning of that 
of Edward the IVth., or the end of Henry the Vlth. In the 
thirteenth, Johnson says that the Lady was the daughter of Sir 
William Thomas Herbert, Lord of Ragland, by Gwladys, his 
wife, daughter of Sir David Gam. Sir Edward and Gamage say 



tbilt she WAS tbc sister of Sir William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke. 
Garoage says that Sir Harry's ransom was 9900 marks; Sir 
Edward and Johnson— 2000. Under the tweoty-first, Gamage 
says,— fTtUtam;— Johnson, — Anthony Hangerford. 

Annexed to a Pedigree of the Stradfiti|:s,^ transcribed, by my 
Father, from the Harleian Manuscripts, I find the following : — 

**Conradus le Esterlinge, so called because he came out of 
the Este Gontrie, from the citie of Oanike, was the firste of that 
name that came into this Real me of Eoglande, with Swannes 
Kinge of Denmarke ; that conquered Eoglande, the yeare of our 
Lorde 1000; and notwithstandinge that aboute a 80 yeres after, 
all the Danes were driven out of Englande, yet the saide Coorade 

and his issue remayned jn Englande -antill the yere of our Lorde 

■ 'i . . < . 

1000, that^a nobleman named Robert Fitz H«n6n wente with his 

. ^' . 

Vs4B)n^t(]nSouth Wales to conquere GUimorgan shire/* 

^ i. 


4 ] 



71 540X C 55 -i.i^